The bride-to-be contacted me about a certificate prior to their wedding in 2010. She had a color scheme and layout in mind, as she loved the dramatic black and silver arcs of this design. Eventually the couple decided that calligrapher Riva Brown of Living Letters Studio, who I often collaborate with, would go ahead and prepare it, but I would add the quilled design after the wedding to keep it safe while guest signature lines were filled in. Much time passed and I assumed the couple had decided they were happy with the beautifully lettered certificate just as it was - completely understandable.
As it turned out, they had eloped and so it had taken quite a while to gather signatures of family and friends. Not only that, they now have three children. Susanne requested deep red tulips arranged inside a heart to represent each child and positioned just as you see them here... the center tulip would stand tall with the others curving toward it. To make them, I cut and layered metallic sculpture paper.
She also requested another favorite flower, white sweet peas. I found that paper wasn't quite malleable enough to make realistically delicate blossoms and buds so I used reversible textured foil - white on one side, silver on the other. To make vine tendrils, I cut quilling paper into 1/32-inch strips and coiled them tightly at one end. Silver-edge black paper was used for the scrolls, tricky to show in photos, but it shines beautifully.
As you might have guessed, the most time-consuming part was the final gluing. This is when I find myself practically holding my breath as I make sure that the design winds up perfectly balanced. My trusty laser level came in handy once again as creating a mirror image with ever-shifting paper scrolls is a challenge!
The 22 x 30 inch certificate is now being framed by Riva and will soon hang in the couple's home where they plan to enjoy it for many years to come.