Sweet, sweet curiosity.

This blog is all about things I have made. You can find intense embroidery, paper quilling mania, crazy gingerbread houses, masks, puppets, steampunk clothes, ornaments, wackiness and sculptures on this site. So have fun and check it out!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Quiller Koi of Quillingtastic Quillingness

 So here is my next Quilling adventure.. my Quiller Koi.  I looked at a lot of different koi tattoos for inspiration but this is an original drawing that I did, then I turned into a Quilled creation.  I wanted to try out some different techniques and found that making an image like this held it's own challenges.  I also tried several different kinds of glue.  My first adventures with quilling were these monograms, which I printed out on to paper with a faint grey colour. With this project, I used carbon paper to transfer the image as my scanner was on the fritz, but I found that it got really dark, so eventually I just went over everything with an eraser which took most of the carbon off, however, left just enough so I could tell where I wanted to put my quilling paper.

 The great thing about quilling paper is that it really lends itself to organic shapes like waves or flowers, so a koi fish seemed totally fitting.

I tried several different glues as I have noticed that there is a wrinkle effect to your base paper when quilling.  I tried something called "zipdry" which is flammable, kind of sticky, and it dries shiny. However it does dry really fast, so if you are willing to put up with some shiny this glue is good if you want to work quickly, It also does not cause the paper to wrinkle. I also tried Mucilage glue, which wasn't better to use then regular pva or School Glue. So my conclusion is thus to solve the wrinkle problem: Treat your paper as you would watercolour paper and tape it down to a flat surface while you are doing it and while it is drying. A piece of board would be perfect for this, so you can move it around if you need to.  This doesn't allow for wrinkle because your paper has nowhere to go. You may still get some wrinkle but on a piece like this koi it would end up totally curled up if I didn't take any preventative measures.


 I wanted to show you all three of these pictures because one great thing about quilling is the photography of it. I am not going to claim that I am a mad photographer because I am not, but because of the height of the paper ( 1/4 inch if you are wondering) you can create some really neat shadows depending on where your light source is.
The different techniques I used in this process were slightly more complex than with the monograms.  To get the swirls which are outlined the entire way round I folded a piece of paper in half and then curled it. The other tricky part was doing the fins and tail. Basically these are pieces which have been slightly curved echoing the shape and repeating in several different tones of paper. The other really hard part was staying on my lines. There were a lot more factors involved with this piece. It helped to have the original drawing around so that I could measure what size the pieces would be from there and glue them onto my base paper.



This was actually a ton of work and probably took me about 8 hours but I really like it and am happy with the way it turned out.  I now have to think up what I will do for my next quilled piece..

11 comments:

  1. This is GORGEOUS!! Where is this going to live? How would you display this, I wonder?

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    1. Because of the raised height, I have found that shadow box frames work really well. Or if you find a deep frame and then don't use the glass it also works.

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  2. Absolutely amazing! If you're not attached to it, I reckon it'd sell on your new etsy shop! :)

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    1. I intend on making another like it to do just that. As this was my first experiment with quilling like this, I used a glue that got really shiny and My carbon transfer was a little dark in some areas, so I would feel uncomfortable selling that one. However, I do intend on doing another one, plus I have a whole series that goes with it to come soon!

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  3. This is really beautiful!! May I suggest a Chinese dragon for your next adventure?

    Shelley

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    1. That is an excellent suggestion! I like it!

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  4. Gorgeous! I would love to see the original photo you work from, too, and I'm curious how detailed your base drawing was (I assume you don't outline every curl!)

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  5. Hey Fjionna, Thanks!
    As this piece was a bit of an experiment for me, I did outline most of the shapes, I wouldn't recommend this when designing your own quilling pieces as that means there is far less freedom to go where the paper wants to go. I think that when I redo this piece I will take out a lot of the detail in the drawing for that exact reason.

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  6. I enjoyed reading about your process in making this cool koi, Michelle! I know what you mean about base paper wrinkling... SO disappointing when that happens. You might try mat board, although I see this post was written a year ago... perhaps you've already come upon that solution. :)

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  7. Hi Michelle, I love your work and tried to make a quiller koi myself. I've linked up this post of yours into my blog. Hope you don't mind. Thanks for the inspiration, and keep up the good work

    http://ardeepapercrafthouse.blogspot.com/2014/10/quilling-koi-fish.html

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