What was your inspiration for this project?
The inspiration for Cloud City came from an obsession with Moroccan arches and architecture, something we'd been eyeing up for over two years and really wanted to use for one of our pieces. We'd started drawing up a few intricate designs based on real buildings, but that had us stumped for a while because the buildings were already so beautiful. It was hard to know what to do next, and how to make them our own in some way. But when we distilled what it was that we loved about them - the pattern making, the colours, the structure - we thought it would be lovely to take these very rational details into a dreamier, illogical realm. And that's how we ended up with floating egg palaces connected by ladders in the sky...
Can you describe your process in creating this project?
We first worked out the segment shape that was needed to create a 10-part egg. When we had that flat, we knew we could draw and combine whatever patterns/arches/balconies we wanted, having them alternate and repeat as we liked. Everything was drawn up in Illustrator first, so that it would all fit perfectly. We then cut and placed the various pieces together. We love using precious papers for all our work, and went a bit crazy with the layering on these pieces, adding as much depth and interest as we could.
We worked with lovely London-based photographer Luke Kirwan to shoot them. Although we had chatted through certain aspects of the project with him prior to the shoot day, he, in fact, had no idea what it was we were bringing him before he saw it at the shoot! This was kind of good, because he got to see the pieces fresh and bring his own magic to them... Shooting them from above to create a kaleidoscopic effect was such a great way to approach the pieces, so you see them for their pure geometry and pattern making.
Did you go through many versions and iterations before coming up with these final pieces?
Yes - a lot of thought went into this one! We came up with quite a few ways we were going to present a collection of patterned arches, none of which stuck until the eggs idea came to us. Even then, when we were making them there were a lot of change-ups, extra layers and other additions that got decided as we went along, including the centrepieces of the eggs, which were decided at the very end when everything else was in place.
Do you feel that this project is "done," or is there anything you'd like to improve on or change in the future?
Apart from the usual tiny details that we see but no-one else does (hopefully!), I think we're really happy with the project as it is - mostly because the prospect of actually having to remake any of these pieces makes us want to cut off both our own hands and throw our drawings into the river :) But of course, the right thing to say is that there's always room for improvement - I think we'll use these pieces as inspiration for our next projects, and develop or improve them that way!
Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project?
We've had an amazing response to the project so far, and (also thanks to Behance) have been contacted by a lot of new fans about it, which makes us really happy. The eggs themselves are going to be exhibited at Papercut, an exhibition of paper creations curated by Owen Gildersleeve opening in London in a couple of weeks, which is very exciting. The photos have also been showcased on the YCN blog amongst others - it's been a very satisfying project so far!