Paper quilling is not foreign, it is an art of the earth
Few people can create masterpieces by making things with paper rather than writing and drawing on paper. The art of “quilling” (paper filigree) is spreading all over the world and growing in popularity every day. In Japan and Korea, for example, paper handicrafts have been developed to a high level and wonderful creations are made through quilling. This art form involves rolling and shaping strips of paper and gluing them together to create flowers and other decorative items. We interviewed an amateur quilling artist, B.Ariunaa, She loves flowers and being surrounded by flowers, and she is willing to teach everything she knows about the art of quilling.
-Please introduce yourself.
-I am a fashion designer. But since becoming pregnant I have stayed at home. I became interested in handicrafts that are possible to do at home. I found out about the art of quilling and began creating items. A few months ago, I was reading the blog of Tsetsgee, the head of the atelier “Tohom”. Her business imports paper and tools. So found the tools I needed. Quilling is easy and looks beautiful to me. That is why this art has become my hobby. Previously I sewed traditional clothes and organized “body art” shows with my friends.
-Where did the art of quilling originate?
-It derives from Mongolia. But if you look on the internet, it will tell you that the art of quilling derived from England. And it has become very popular in Japan and Korea. I presented my creations to an elderly person recently. Although he was blind, he touched my creations and could tell what they were. Then he told me strange story relating to the art of quilling. In ancient times, Mongolians used to practice the art of quilling with gladdon (iris flower), tree bark, and with leaves and felt. Mongolians used to use quilling as breast decorations and for protective deities. And some items were decorated with precious stones. This meant that they took energy from the earth. That is why it is said that quilling is an art of the earth.
-Did you study these ancient forms of quilling further?
-I did not study it deeply. But I learned that ancient Mongolians were able to coagulate clotted cream and make decorative scrolls, according to my grandmother. In those times the woman who made the best scroll was selected as a maestro. Despite this, people consider that the art of quilling derived from foreign countries. But I believe that quilling art originated in Mongolia. Asking the elders is better than searching the internet or reading books about the art of quilling.
-Did you make quilling items with precious stones and felt?
-I am planning to make quilling items with gladdon in summer. I have made earrings and necklaces before. Elder have told me ”You have to use something from the earth on your quilling”. This brings waves of energy when it is in someone’s home. Now my energy is immersed in my creations.
-How many items have you made using quilling?
-I have not counted my creations yet. I made around 30 quilling items as gifts for Tsagaan Sar. Some families made orders when they saw my quilling pieces. They show me photos of their apartments and I make my quilling items to match their curtains, furniture and wallpaper. People have also ordered flowers.
-How many hours do you spend on one quilling piece?
-About one day. It requires patience, hard work, and skill.
-It is an amazing gift to give friends.
-I have planned to present quilling pieces to my relatives on Tsagaan Sar. The girls in my family help me in my work nowadays. It saves me time.
-What is the most important item necessary for the art of quilling?
-Paper. And it is very important to learn the skills needed to make flower petals and leaves.
-Your profession is fashion designer. So you clearly have an imagination. Have you ever thought about making imaginary flowers; ones that don’t actually exist?
- I love flowers and butterflies. Quilling is a suitable way to express my feelings about them. I have been exploring flowers recently, for the purpose of making the leaves and petals of my flower creations more beautiful. I will make a fictitious flower, as you suggest, after I give birth.
-The flowers that grow from your hands are elegant, but they have no smell.
-People want to touch my creations with their fingertips. I like to make items that give satisfaction through the sense of touch. I am contented and relaxed when I am doing quilling. I want other people to feel the same way.
-I guess you know the importance of having a hobby?
-In my opinion, everyone must have hobby. It is a good way to get rid of stress. I think people can face the various problems in life calmly, if they do not have stress. I feel relaxed when I am doing my favorite thing.
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