When I began this column a handful of weeks ago, I didn't know about local artist Papernoodle, aka Cheong-ah Hwang. But the work of the Korean-born artist is exactly the story I wanted to tell within this feature.

When I began this column a handful of weeks ago, I didn't know about local artist Papernoodle, aka Cheong-ah Hwang. But the work of the Korean-born artist is exactly the story I wanted to tell within this feature.

Monday mornings suck. But the most recent Monday morning was one I was looking forward to because I had plans to meet Hwang at her home studio in Merion Village to discuss her work and process.

The art of Papernoodle isn't hard to describe - intricate, delicate and detailed awesomeness that uses layers of paper for paper-relief sculptures - but I couldn't imagine how steadfast Hwang had to be in crafting it. Hwang said a small piece, such as the life-like hummingbirds, takes about eight hours. Larger ones can take many weeks.

Hwang has been working with cut paper since she was a child, using all kinds of paper as her parents owned a printing business. The paper sculptures are fun and accessible, while possessing this intimating level of commitment and talent.

And if you're like me, seeing the work of Papernoodle - check out her Flickr page (flickr.com/papernoodle) for a compendium of her pieces - you're instantly in awe. All of her pieces are created by hand, mainly using an X-Acto knife, but also a few other tools to score, bend and fold the paper.

Papernoodle's work is also vastly diverse. There are the life-like birds and some that are fable-based ("Beauty and the Beast," "Alice in Wonderland") and pop-culture influenced - Hwang's son is big fan of Star Wars and comics, hence the Obi-Wan, Iron Man and Captain America pieces. All sparkle with energy.

"Human figures are a new interest for me now," she said. "I touch all kinds of different subjects, some abstract, some mechanical, architecture, flowers and animals. The human figure is the subject I'd done least, but it really interested me and is something I want to explore from now on."

Papernoodle hasn't exhibited a lot lately, and I found out about her through a pop-up show that has come and gone. So seeing the work in person - which makes a wonderful difference - may be tricky. But Hwang is open to working with new people for a show, and I have a feeling there's any number of people and places that would love to showcase her talent.

Cheong-ah Hwang