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My “paper crush” goes back to when I was a child. I used to do quilling projects when I was a kid. I was and I still am absolutely fascinated with this art form!
Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. The paper is rolled, looped, curled, twisted and otherwise manipulated to create shapes which make up designs to decorate greetings cards, pictures, boxes, eggs, and to make models, jewellery, mobiles etc. The most popular and versatile technique is that of rolling. The paper strip is rolled in fingers or using a tool. The coil is then released and then glued at the tip and then shaped. These shaped coils are arranged to form flowers, leaves, and various ornamental patterns.
During the Renaissance, French and Italian nuns and monks used quilling to decorate book covers and religious items. The paper most commonly used was strips of paper trimmed from the gilded edges of books. These gilded paper strips were then rolled to create the quilled shapes. Quilling often imitated the original ironwork of the day.
In the 18th century, quilling became popular in Europe where gentle ladies of quality (“ladies of leisure”) practiced the art. It was one of the few things ladies could do that was thought not too taxing for their minds or gentle dispositions. Quilling also spread to the Americas and there are a few examples from Colonial times.
Today, quilling is seeing a resurgence in popularity with quillers (people who practice the art of quilling) on every continent and in every walk of life. No longer confined to the “upper classes”, this is a peoples art form and the beauty of the art is always expanding. The craft has become increasingly popular due to the low cost of the material. It is used to decorate wedding invitations, for Christmas, birth announcements, greeting cards, scrapbook pages, and boxes. Quilling can be found in art galleries in Europe and in the United States and is an art that is practiced around the world.
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