Caroline Spellman

Following an education in biology, forest ecology, and wildlife science, I returned to quilling in the 1990’s. It was natural to choose fish and birds as subjects, combining my love for the craft with my education. I was accepted as a member of Handwork in 1994. I am thankful that our cooperative provides me with the opportunity to share my craft with a community of artisans and the public. While working in the store, I enjoy explaining the process to our customers and seeing their reaction when they realize that the pictures really are made from tiny bits of rolled up paper.

 

Also known as paper filigree, quilling is a craft that has been practiced since the Renaissance.  Narrow strips of paper are rolled into coils, shaped, and glued into place. Although many quillers purchase machine cut strips of paper, I buy large sheets of art paper (primarily charcoal and drawing papers) and cut them into strips myself.  This allows me to use the slight differences in width to produce subtle variations in color when combining multiple strips together.  At the height of its popularity during the Georgian era, quilling was a way for ladies of leisure to amuse themselves and patterns were often published in women's magazines of the day. While I continue to do some pieces in this earlier tradition, my birds, fish, and butterflies show a more painterly approach to the craft.

 

I work from a studio in my home in Groton, NY surrounded by gardens, forest, wetlands, and agricultural fields.  The mixture of habitats supports a wide variety of birds and butterflies, many of which I feature in my work. Each piece is a handcrafted original, mounted in a handmade, hardwood frame. 

Groton, N.Y.

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