The word ‘Quilling’ also known as ‘Paper Filigree’ is a form of paper art, where thin strips of paper are rolled & shaped to form beautiful and intricate designs. Although it’s considered a less complicated art form, it is extremely time intensive, hence requires a lot of patience from the artists.
Many consider Quilling to be a contemporary art form, however, very few are aware of it’s long standing history. Quilling dates back to the 16th & 17th century, where it was practiced by the French & Italian nuns. Though it is said to have it’s origin in Egypt, it was more widely practiced across Europe. The nuns would trim the gilded edges of books & use the strips to decorate holy pictures and relics. Quilling was used as an imitation of the gold or silver filigree work. With the development of paper, the art spread from England to North America, where it was practiced by the ladies of leisure. Quilling was used to embellish cabinets, tea caddies, work boxes, frames etc.
However, with time the popularity of quilling declined. In 1875, an attempt to revive the art was made by William Bemrose. He introduced a kit called ‘Mosaicon’ with a hand book.
Quilling is seeing a resurgence & gaining popularity among youngsters. One of the most well known Quilling artists is Yulia Brodskaya from Russia, who has an impressive clientele. Her works are owned by Oprah Winfrey, Ferrero, San Fransisco museum of Modern Art etc. Below are some of her works.