The Art of Quilling
The Art of Quilling
by Stacy Lash
Some of you probably know me as just “Stacy” or “extension 112” or “the accountant” however, today I’m writing as Stacy, the paper artist from Mainely Quilling! As you can see, I wear many different hats both at Marine Parts Express and in my life outside of here.
First of all, what is quilling? Quilling is actually a very old art form, dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Some scholars even believe it was practiced in Ancient Egypt! It is also known as paper-scrolling, paper filigree, and paper-rolling. Quilling, at it’s most basic, is simply the art of taking narrow strips of paper and shaping them into something beautiful. Here is an example of the basic quilling shapes (I liberated this image from the web). The shapes are made by rolling paper strips on a tool until they form a coil. Once the coil is formed, you pinch, squeeze, and press the sides of it to make more elaborate shapes like diamonds, teardrops, and slugs, etc. Once you’ve mastered the basic shapes, you can tackle more advanced techniques like the three-pronged flames that I used in my phoenix, or combing (like I used in my Great Horned Owl), or multi-strip scrolls like I use in a lot of my monograms. There really is no limit to how you can use the paper as it’s a wonderful medium to work with.
Quilling is something that requires a lot of patience, and perhaps even a bit of obsessive-compulsive behavior. The shapes you work with are very tiny and the work builds very slowly. If you want to create large, elaborate pieces, it can often take days or weeks to complete. If you want the finished product to be high quality, you have to be very precise with your work.
When I first began quilling, I noticed that a lot of the patterns that I found looked cartoonish. I decided that my quillings wouldn’t be craft, but art. I started out with birds. Birds are the perfect subjects to quill. They are colorful and their feathers have a pattern that the individual quills mimic very nicely.
The first birds I created were chickadees. I made these about a month after I’d begun quilling. After those, I went on to make a ton more birds from ravens to owls to the mythological phoenix. You can click on each image to link to my site and see them in larger format.
Then I began creating monograms. They aren’t as creative as my other subjects, but they are beautiful and look wonderful in a frame. They make the best wedding present!
Most of my business comes from monograms, but occasionally I am lucky enough to have a client who wants to utilize my creativity and hires me to make them something truly unique. I recently created a Goddess Mandala and am working on a Forest Sprite. I guess that the theme lately has been fantasy! I have plans to create a Zaratan this summer as well. An interesting side note is that on Pinterest, my most popular quilling (meaning the one that gets repinned most often), is my mermaid quilling.
I don’t have a studio apart from my residence and most of my artwork resides in private homes. However, if you are in the area and want to see my artwork in person, I have a Great Horned Owl on display at the Skidompha Library, in Damariscotta, Maine.
Please take a moment to support my artwork by liking my page on Facebook and following my board on Pinterest. If you’d like to read more about my quilled artwork, including detailed descriptions of how I made different pieces, visit my website.
Thanks for reading and I hope to see you on Facebook or Pinterest!
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July 31, 2015 / Stacy Bettencourt / 0
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