Paper cutting as an art form is almost as old as paper itself. Traditionally, though, paper cuts are 2-dimensional, almost cartoonish depictions of scenes because of the nature of the process: either the paper is there, or it is cut away, leaving the artist with two tones to work with. Artist Tiffany Miller Russell has adapted this ancient technique into 3-dimensional paper sculptures, bringing new possibilities to the fore: depth, color, and shading.

She describes this piece in particular on her website:

The olm, or proteus, is a cave salamander related to the mud puppy and found only in caves of the Dinaric Alps of Europe. Known to science for hundreds of years from animals washed from the caves during heavy rains, olms were once believed to be the larvae of dragons. Deep in the dark earth, they rule both their own silent waters, and the realms of our imagination.

Dragons in the Darkness won the President's Award for 3D at the Society of Animal Artists' Art and the Animal exhibition and is on display in their 54th annual exhibition.


For the third year running, we are turning September into a month-long celebration of science artists by delivering a new morsel of sciart to chew on each day. Totally yum? Check out what was previously featured on this day:

2013: Inked Animal prints by Ben Labay and Adam Cohen



2012: A Revealing, Leggy Model with artwork by Mieke Roth