Quilling or paper filigree is an art form involving paper strips that are rolled, manipulated, shaped, and glued together to create colourful, decorative designs. It gets its name from the practice of trimming the gold edges from books, and then winding the narrow strips of paper around feather quills, using the quill for the tool.
The technique is simple: A long, narrow ribbon of paper is rolled around a needle-like tool and the strip is slipped off, arranged with the fingertips into whatever shape desired, and then glued to a background, either paper, fabric or wood. There are plenty of advanced techniques and different-sized paper that are used to create 3D miniatures, abstract art and quilled flowers.
The monks and the nuns would roll gold-gilded paper remnants trimmed during the bookmaking process, and use them to adorn religious objects in place of expensive gold filigree during the period of Renaissance. Quilling later became a hobby and a pastime of 18th and 19thcentury young women in England. They would decorate pieces of furniture and tea caddies with paper filigree. This practice crossed the Atlantic with colonists, who adorned candle sconces and trays with paper filigree.
The process has remained the same, but these days, some aficionados focus on detailed 3-D figures. This art form is creatively satisfying and is also fun at the same time! You can unleash your creativity with this art form as the choices are immense, right from plain coloured strips to metallic coloured strips, strips that come in a gradation of shades from the same family shade, broad strips to extremely thin strips. You can create basic forms such as flowers, petals, half-moon, teardrops, ring coils, open filigree shapes, 3D shapes, fringed flowers and more. You can use them to embellish all your gifts, gift cards, greeting cards and gift wrappers. It can also be used to enhance vases, succulents and small home decorative pieces. You can create lovely jewellery such as earrings, neckpieces, finger rings and pendants using the 3D paper quilling technique. Isn't it amazing to see what marvellous things paper can do? Try it out for yourself as it is simple, inexpensive and loads of fun!