My name is Wolfram Kampffmeyer, and I design and produce templates and kits for making 3D paper sculptures. I live in Stuttgart, Germany with my wife Annette and our 2-year-old daughter, Lea. My line is called Paperwolf.
I studied computer animation from 2005-2011 at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg in Ludwigsburg, Germany. After I finished school, I got a job working as a computer animator, which entails making a a lot of virtual 3D models. At some point, I started thinking about making something I could actually touch and hold in my hands. Since paper is a wonderful material to make complex 3D models with quickly and without much more than scissors and glue, I transformed one of my virtual models into a paper design. When my friends saw it, they gave me so much positive feedback that I decided to try and sell the DIY kit online. I still remember how happy I was after my first sale – it motivated me to design new sculptures and kits. Today, I have almost 50 products that come in 19 colors, including 2-3 sizes of the same animal.
Whenever I have time, I make new animals to add to my paper zoo. My process for designing starts with research. Often, that means looking at images and watching videos I find on the internet to get the character of the certain animal right. Other times, I watch the animal live at the zoo. By choosing interesting and vivid poses, I hope to capture the animal’s essence. I always aim for the best compromise between maximum detail and the amount of pieces customers will have to glue together. It’s very important to me that my sculptures appear as lively as possible.
I love when my customers write me about how much they love their sculptures and how proud they are to have built it themselves. It’s great knowing that my animal sculptures have found homes all over the world – from Israel to Iceland and Mexico to New Zealand. I even created the a map to keep track of where I’ve shipped my Unicorn Papercraft Kit. Looking at it today, the world is full of unicorns!
When I discovered Etsy, it opened the gates to international customers. Computer animation is still my main profession, but my Paperwolf business has grown so much in the last year that I basically have two professions now, which I love. My future goal is to experiment with new cutting technologies to speed up the production process. And of course, to design hundreds of new animals that are already in my head.
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All photographs by Paperwolf.