Former St George librarian finds passion in laser art – St George News

ST. GEORGE —A former librarian once bound by her job has begun a new chapter filled with expressive art that she now shares with the world.

Susan Taylor stands in her workshop holding her laser art, St. George, Utah, June 15, 2022. | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

Susan Taylor, an artist of many forms, said her artistic talents began at an early age when she was taking things apart and putting them back together. As she got older, she fell in love with all kinds of crafts and was fascinated by the unique things she could create to express herself.

As a librarian at Bloomington Elementary for 20 years, Taylor said the sprawling school library has no decor, giving it a very sterile feel. Because of this, she and her husband set out to transform the library into different themes each summer, just in time for the new school year. They have created many fascinating themes over the years such as full rainforest, Harry Potter theme and more.

“We were just living in the school, just decorating,” Taylor said. “And every year the kids just loved being there.”

Taylor said that although many books in the library were discarded for various reasons, she could not afford to throw them away. Instead, she chose to repurpose these books with a creative, artistic twist. She transforms abandoned books into various items such as tissue holders and handmade 3D books. Book art is a complex art form where she creates her own patterns, marks each page, then either folds the pages or cuts them out by hand.

Book art by Susan Taylor features a custom pop-up design, location and date not specified |  Photo courtesy of Susan Taylor, St.  George News
Book art by Susan Taylor features a custom pop-up design, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Susan Taylor, St. George News

“I just love being creative and making things out of other things,” she said. “You know, putting things together and always keeping my hands busy.”

Taylor said she started seeing laser art in various places and was fascinated by both the process and the end result. After leaving her career as a librarian, she was excited to continue her artistic path and branch out to try out laser art for herself.

She initially purchased a small laser printer and when she realized the possibilities, she decided to use it full time. She invested in a 100-watt laser printer, which she uses today.

While starting her own business — Cactus Cuts Custom Creations — Taylor said she initially created her intricate designs from a spare bedroom in her home. She and her husband had just turned a shed in their backyard into a fun escape for her kids, complete with a king-size bed.

They decided to make the hideout bigger by adding another unused shed to the open shelter. Ultimately, this setup resulted in the perfect “shed” and full-time workspace for all of her craft and laser creations.

Custom laser art by Susan Taylor sits on a table, St. George, UT, June 15, 2022 |  Photo by Jessi Bang, St.  George News
Custom laser art by Susan Taylor sits on a table, St. George, UT, June 15, 2022 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

“When people ask me what I do, the reality is that I just like to do things that make other people happy. So that’s what I do,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s laser engraving art includes 3-D items such as purses, bags, home decor, bookends, dice rollers, jewelry boxes, earrings and more. In addition to the already unique designs, she also hand paints and colors her pieces. With a love for all different types of crafts, she also creates glue art, vinyl designs, 3D cardboard art, woodworking and much more.

“I think that’s my problem, I start with something, then I start with something new,” Taylor said. “I just want to do everything. Fortunately, I have a very patient husband.”

For more information on Cactus Cuts Custom Creations and to order artwork from Susan Taylor, find her at Facebook and Instagram. For a list of current laser items for sale through her MoFACo online store, Press here.

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