Process of Quilling

Learning to rollup, let loose, curl, stand sideways, and create eccentric shapes out of little strips of colored paper is the basis for the ancient art of Quilling Paper.Itʼs meditative, addictive and just plain fun. Then you get to combine all these little pieces to create whatever you can imagine.

The learning process for quilling is pretty simple – practice rolling the strips until you get the feel for the right tension to create the coil that will behave in the manner needed to create the desired shape. The final result depends on the length, width and texture of the strip used and how the coil is manipulated.

This said, remember that any given project will consist of a multitude of shaped pieces. The pet portraits may be hundreds of pieces rolled and shaped specifically for that picture. The combination of the coiled and folded pieces are what define the art. The quilled mandalas and some of the quilled jewelry rely on the uniformity of size, tension and shape of the individual coils.

There is and ever-expanding variety of patterns and techniques available these days online in print, photo and videos. These vary from traditional pieces to very free-form designs and everything in between.

Quillography is a technique that is gaining a lot of attention. It comes from the Chinese style of quilling with the papers standing on edge and larger loops and swirls. Really cool artwork showing up in this form. A quick search on social media sites for ‘quillingʼ will get you almost overwhelming results.

I develop my own patterns by blending old and new techniques as needed to create my one-of-a-kind pieces in both the portraits and my other quilled pieces and jewelry.

“How long does it take you to do this?”

It is possible to make some of the smaller pieces of jewelry in an hour or so, more complex pieces up to 8-9 hours. The portraits can literally take days depending on the size and complexity of the image being created.

I often ‘sit withʼ a picture of an animal for awhile before I start to quill it to get a feel for the individual animal being quilled. This helps me determine the type of coils, colors and textures I will use in the portrayal. The mandalas probably average 6-12 hrs, small pictures, about the same. I donʼt follow a published pattern in my work. Most pieces evolve as I work on them.

If you need ideas check my gallery or search “quilling” online, in Pinterest or Etsy.