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The Paper Tole Institute recommends standards for paper tole work. To become a certified paper tole teacher (CPTT) these standards must be observed in work submitted for judging.
Standards become more rigorous at higher levels of certification and they are listed here for your review.
Paper tole work at all levels must have:
  • Precision cutting
  • Creative and realistic shaping with no cracked edges
  • Nicely rounded and colored edges (No blunt or white edges)
  • Each piece must be separated, shaped and reassembled. i.e. a hand should be separated from a sleeve; a shoe separated from a leg. 
  • All glue and other means of elevation hidden from view 
  • No gaps visible 
  • Background, middle ground, and foreground should be kept in perspective. The background should have less emphasis than the foreground. 
  • Free from debris inside the frame 
  • Complementary mats and frames, with a professional looking finish.

At this basic level, it is expected that the finished work is done well. The picture must look coordinated i.e. stems should not be higher than leaves, feet should not be in midair, and all elements must be in perspective in relation to each other. The shaping must be realistic without cracked edges. Colored edges should not show bleed marks. Only paper parts must be used in the picture i.e. no plastic stamen, dried flowers etc. You may use a combination of prints for your project. Each part of the picture must be separated from every other part. You may use treasure cote to enhance parts of the picture such as water, eyes, and dewdrops on flowers. You may keep or cut away the background. If you are using a layering technique, layers must be fitted exactly in place with no shifting taking place. If the work is lifted high away from the background, block or paint out the image on the background. It is not necessary to block if the picture is kept close to the background or if the background image is not easily noticeable. Some double images are allowed so long as they don’t detract from the overall effect.

This level concentrates mainly on feathering and furring but standards for level one must be observed as well. At this level the work must be flawless. Feathering should be fine and relatively even. If the picture of a bird is very smooth, do not feather the whole bird, as this will tend to make the bird look choppy. Underlying layers must be feathered around the edges. Double or triple beaks are not allowed. Use blocking or painting to minimize double images. Bodies of both birds and animals must be rounded without gaps or space between layers.
Animals can be made using the furring or scratching techniques. For example, use the furring technique on a longhaired wolf, and use the scratching technique on a horse or cow. No double images or gaps between layers allowed. Use blocking or painting to eliminate double images.

At this expert level, the work must be outstanding. This level concentrates on scenes in depth featuring landscapes, seascapes, buildings or people. Anton Pieck or Kim Jacobs prints are ideal for this level. Double images or gaps are not allowed. If the background is very faint, it is not necessary to work it. You may combine parts of other prints to help hide gaps, or to enhance the picture. You may use a transparent material to put behind windows to simulate glass panes. Make sure that windowpanes on the background are covered or painted out. Any props may be used for achieving desired height, but they must not be visible from the sides.
The judging of entries will be based on the following criteria:
  • Technical execution 
  • Appeal to the observer 
  • Observance of the Paper Tole Institute Standards

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