A Glimpse at the Revival of Renaissance Monastery Quilling as Modern Visual Art

A Glimpse at the Revival of Renaissance Monastery Quilling as Modern Visual Art

Quilling, the paper craft art developed by French and Italian monastery nuns and monks during the Renaissance period, has been seeing modern-day revival for several years now. Some simply call it paper-rolling or scrolling, or paper filigree art, which basically,describes the simplicity of the paper crafting technique.

 

Originally, nuns and monks used the gilded edges of frayed and worn-out pages of bibles; cutting them into paper filigrees to use as adornment of religious icons. It was adopted as a cheaper alternative to using real gold or silver metal as ornament. Those who have had the pleasure of seeing the original monastery artworks, remarked that unless you knew beforehand that they were quilled gilded edges of paper, one would simply think the filligrees came from real gold metal.

During the 16-17th century Georgian and Regency periods, it was evident that the refined ladies so relished the art of quilling as leisure, and as outlet for their artistic inclinations. They used quilling to display their family’s coat of arms on panels, to decorate storage and jewelry boxes, tea caddies and cabinets; whilst devising different ways of arranging and shaping the rolled, curled, looped, and twisted pieces of paper.

Apparently, the ladies of leisure were delighted to discover their own abilities to create artwork, using only minimum effort and skills.

The Resurgence of Quilling and Its Adaptation in the World of Contemporary Art and Leisure

Quilling today is so much easier to do, because the contemporary world of art and leisure, has a wider range of tools,colorful paper materials, and even applications to offer.

Modern-day quillers can buy an assortment of paper already machine-cut into strips, in different widths, colors, and in varying textures. The choices are limitless, from traditional vellum, to gilded with gold, silver or copper, or in varying shades: graduated, two-toned, pearlized, or with different colors on each side.

Quilling tools now come as precision devices complete with ergonomic handles. Designs can be anything from original ideas, to any of the commercially available ready-to-work-on graphic arts, or any web-based image that catches one’s fancy.

Since contemporary quilling materials have eliminated some of the “hard work,” the only essential elements that modern-day quillers have to supply and apply, are spare time and patience.