Monday, September 14, 2009

Art Lesson #2 - Quilling

Art Lesson #2 - Quilling

(Quilling shapes by Peg.)

My cousin and I started the art lesson off at Michaels taking as much time as we wanted to look at the supplies, dream and to answer her questions like, "Why do you need sandpaper when using charcoal sticks?"

For the last art class we painted pysanky eggs and needed to make/buy a base to display our art. A stroke of luck, a worker at Michaels suggested this miniature terracotta flower pot, which works great!

As while slowing walking down each aisle, we discovered wooden models of all sorts of objects like tanks, squirrels, bridges... My cousin S bought a frog model for $1!! Cant wait to see how she paints it.

Back at my house using a Klutz book on quilling we created birthday cards for her sisters upcoming birthday (who happens to not read this blog, so I thankfully got to show off our art).

I remember twisting thin strips of paper around pencils, when I lived in England. I had forgot how much I enjoy it; it must be the repetitiveness and little details that I adore. After our time together making the cards, I looked online for the history of quilling, images of stunning contemporary works and for examples of how this art form has been adapted to other mediums.

History of Quilling

Examples of this spiral art form dates back to the illuminated manuscripts. Check out wikipedia for more details.

There is a guild for artists of this craft, called the North American Quilling Guild (NAQG). You can sign up to join them, check out images of stunning works of quilling, free patterns and links to the artists websites.

Chess set made by an artist of the North American Quilling Guild.

Free standing quilled sculpture by another NAQG member.
Pat Caputo
web site:

Stunning Contemporary Quilling Artists
The following are not images of my art, but instead artists I found online. The links site where I found these stunning craftsmen.

Not only is quilling glued to cards, but as 3D objects.

This spider made me realize that I've conditioned myself to be afraid of the shape of spiders. Why else would this paper give me the wee-be-gee-bees?

Lots of styles prevail such as elaborately ornate quilling and simplified, suggested forms.

This artist has lots of amazing designs. I was "wowed" when I found the above image.

To really appreciate this mandala, you have to click on it to see all the tiny details using just paper.

Too cute!

This would be a fun idea to implement for scrap booking, by making the first letter of the page huge and quilled.

Now I want to decorate a Christmas tree with quilled snowflakes, pysanky ornaments and strings of popcorn.

This is one of my favorite uses of quilling paper, use of white space between the paper of each petal and leaf and the 3D quality of the flowers springing off of the paper.

Other applications of this technique

I asked myself, what can be quilled? Fabric? Belts? Thin pieces of wood? What have other artists done with quilling? Here's a sampling:

Looking at this image makes me want to dive into elaborate cake decorating. This cake is so pretty and whimsical. I love it!

Some artists sell quilled jewelry on etsy, which is the online mega store for handmade crafts. Surfing this familiar site, gave me the conviction to either make all of my future gifts, reuse what I have, or buy from an artist. Times are hard for everyone, even for the artists who sell on etsy. Never mind supporting the Waltons by running over to Walmart real quick for a present, but I want to spend more time choosing a gift that the receiver will really cherish. I'll get off my soapbox now and get back to the topic - quilling.

This cracked me up, quilled chairs. I had to share it. This is something I would do. So now what should I make since these designers beat me to it? hmm...

Have you done quilling? What have you made? Any tips?


  1. Those are awesome, at first I thought it said Qilting, but everything looked really weird for quilting so I has to look again.

  2. Hi, I'm pleased to see that you liked my work. Could you please put a link to my blog and not only the image files?
    Inna (Inna's Creations)

  3. Thank you, Elizabeth, and thanks for commenting in my blog :)

  4. Hi Elizabeth, I really enjoyed your post of other quilling examples that I had not seen. Thanks for using the one of the chairs from my ArtIsEverywhere post on quilling. I agree with Inna, it would help all these artists to have direct links to their artwork or posts for proper acknowledgement and your readers' further discovery and enjoyment.
    Many thanks!

  5. Hi Casart,
    I agree that it would be best to have a direct link to each of the artist. The reason I didn't initially do that is because I haven't been to most of these artist's sites, but instead found them by searching under google images. That's why the links go to google images. It is on my to-do list to go through and add the direct links to each artist. Thank you for your patience.

  6. Hi Elizabeth,
    The quilled tea cup and saucer are my creations. Here is my web site and my quilling blog so you can put up links. Thanks for posting my work.
    Pat Caputo

  7. I would deffinatly like a pair of these at home.