In paper quilling, also called paper filigree, strips of paper are wound around a special tool to create coils; those coils are then formed into a variety of shapes and pieced together to create ornamental patterns. While there are sources suggesting that some of the techniques were originally practiced in ancient Egypt, we have French and Italian nuns of the Renaissance to thank for achieving the high art form that brought paper quilling to the attention of an art-loving, expanding world. Colonization spread this practice to new lands, and today you’ll find exquisite work being done throughout the globe.
Originally intended, most likely, to be an affordable and accessible alternative to ironwork or gold/silver filigree, a common source of paper for early European practitioners was the gilded edges of worn religious books. Parchment and vellum were also used. The material was then manipulated using feather quills to create new art used for the adornment of important religious books, reliquaries, cabinetry, art panels, coats- of-arms and other highly valued art pieces.
As is the case with many art forms, it is not difficult to learn basic quilling techniques; in fact there are many tutorials available on YouTube to help beginners discover the craft, and affordable materials are readily available through online sources. With patience, practice and creativity, these techniques can be used to create visually stunning and emotionally evocative pieces of art, well worthy of exhibition in galleries or pride-of-place in appreciative homes.
CRAFTMANSHIP & QUALITY
Quilling artist Shannon O'Hara creates one-of-a-kind pieces honoring nature and reflecting sacred geometry. Each piece is lovingly crafted with joyful intent.
Member, Quilling Guild (U.K.) and North American Quilling Guild. Dedicated to fine craftsmanship and the advancement of Paper Quilling as a fine art.