These are my first attempts at making épi loaves.
For the first one, below, I made all the cuts, THEN turned the segments left and right afterwards, which got a bit tricky and involved some tugging on sticky dough, resulting in the stretched and uneven quality you see. I had learned my lesson by the time I shaped my second loaf, above, yet, interestingly, I got many more compliments on the uneven loaf. It does look a bit more handmade and indeed artistic. It makes the épi loaf look even more labor intensive than it already seems (although of course, we know it's not)! In a world laden with flawless manufacture, a little imperfection, a little human error, can be a refreshing sight and a thing of true beauty.
Next time, I'd like to attempt what might be the best of both worlds--turning as I cut, then doing a little aesthetic shaping with my fingers.