Prepare to be awestruck... Libby Hampel of Ann Arbor, Michigan makes dramatic jewelry from glass beads and paper - quilling paper, that is. And equally impressive, each piece is one of a kind.
A graduate of the Academy of Art University in California with B.F.A. in Textile Design, Libby left her day job last summer to work as a full-time artist... undoubtedly a bold step, but with her prolific, creative ideas, I tend to think she'll be fine.
Libby's interest in paper grew while taking a bookmaking and boxmaking course in college. Already a jewelry designer, it was a natural progression to experiment with combining beads and paper.
She studies the color and shape of each component before assembly, and most definitely considers the practicality of the design... will the piece be wearable?
Tell me a bit about whether you've done any traditional filigree-style quilling or were you drawn to the paper bead aspect, so went straight to rolling it tightly?"
I've never done the traditional filigree-style quilling. I leave that to the individuals who have mastered it. :) I went right to tight coils. The strips have a flexibility that other papers just don't have. I discovered this after starting to use it, plus I really like that the colors of the quilling paper can be seen on the edges. With some other papers the front and/or back are colored, but the edges are white.
Do you purchase pre-cut strips or cut your own?
I buy the strips. I'm a pretty good cutter, but not that precise all the time. lol This is the only paper I buy pre-cut. The other papers I use, I cut by hand. I like the precise cut of the quilling paper. No matter what brand I buy, I know the 1/8 inch strips will be just that.
Are you a self-taught jewelry artist or have you taken courses?
I took a metalsmith class in college. Sawing metal, buffing metal, soldering, setting cabochons, etc. Everything else I have learned from reading and curiosity. The best way for me to learn is just to try new things with the materials. You never know until you try.
Libby's unique jewelry collection can be purchased via her website or Etsy shop.