February 12, 2011

Response Saturday: Quilled Paper

One of the things I have been interested in trying for jewelry is quilled paper.  Somehow I was recently reminded of it... I recall seeing things with a decidedly 70's look hanging up in our home and other homes during my childhood.  I think I saw a package of quilling paper at a craft store recently and I have been thinking about it ever since.  It is hard to separate that dated 70's look, but I was sure it could be done.  I took a look around Etsy and found some great stuff made with quilled paper (come back to see my quilled inpiration treasury tomorrow) and I was inspired to try it.

I found a pack of quilling paper at one of the antique stores I was at this week for a dollar, so this was the perfect opportunity to try it.  My idea was to make some rolled paper designs and fill them with resin. Sort of like cloissone.  I made some good preliminary experiments with these two pendants, but I think I need more work.
My first question with these experiments was: would the paper hold up under the wetness of the resin.  I found the answer was yes!  I think for future experiments, I need to work with designs that are less tightly wound (using less paper) because the tiny walls of the tightly wound spirals were hard to fill with resin.  I also think I need to eliminate the shimmery powders, as they are distracting.  I think this idea needs crystal clear and colored resins to work the way I have in mind. I also need to work cleaner...I am a little messy for this kind of clean paper work, so I need to set a clean space aside to try this properly.  It's definitely worth exploring more.
Here is a video I found of a clip from That's Clever showing a woman making some traditional holiday card designs with this technique.  I found quite a few videos on quilling, so its worth a search if this interests you!

Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.


  1. What a glorious experiment Melanie! I love the way these look like little walls that you can build color and different background papers. Like metal only way easier! I think that what I love the most is the way that you experiment with things. Thank you for inspiring me.
    Enjoy the day!
    P.S. Got my key and keyhole...oooh! So nice!

  2. Even though you say these need more work, the prototypes are quite lovely! I can't wait to see how your ideas evolve with this project. :) Keep us posted!

  3. What a cool idea! Lots of possibilities.

  4. Wow! I love it! I have a pack of quilling paper that has been sitting on the shelf for about 5 years. I love it, but am afraid to do it. I too saw that video on That's Clever. Some day I will tackle it. haha :) Can't wait to see what your other ideas look like. Beautiful I am sure. :)

  5. I do love quilling!!! There is just something so intricate and beautiful about it when it is done really well. I tried it some time ago - but totally forgot about it. My sister in law has her wedding invitation all framed up beautifully with quilling work around it - and it just looks beautiful. I can't wait to see where your experiments take you!

  6. Your resin pendants look very nice for a first try! Quilling has come a long way since the 70s. That's my video by the way, and you can find lots of modern quilling examples on my blog, All Things Paper: http://allthingspaper-annmartin.blogspot.com/