Quilled "Day at the Races"

If you're a longtime reader of this blog, perhaps you'll recognize the name, Licia Politis. She's an exceptional quiller from New South Wales, Australia whose outstanding art pieces have frequently won awards.

Quilled Day at the Races
Day at the Races, Licia Politis, 2011

This past April, Licia's newest work, Day at the Races, took
first prize in the "Any Other Quilled Item" category at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, where it was featured in the Showcase of Excellence for the two week duration of the show. Composed entirely of paper, the piece also took first place in the "Masters" category of the UK Quilling Guild's annual competition last month.

Licia told me the
inspiration behind Day at the Races came from typical Australian and British racetrack fashions of whimsical high heels, the increasing popularity of fascinators, and lavish accessories.

I admire the way her complex works have so many intriguing components, one doesn't know quite where to focus first! Let's start with the amazing high heels...

quilled shoe construction

As a nod to shoe designer Christian Louboutin, Licia used two layers of vivid red mat board to construct the soles of the shoes. The front and the back straps have marquise shapes covering black card and are edged with contrasting crimping. A large three layer flower, outlined with silver metallic, was positioned on the top of each shoe. This same flower features in the fascinator.

Quilled shoes

She said the shoes were the most challenging part of the whole piece, especially the rolling and shaping of the high heels. "
When constructing the shoes, I made three different styles before deciding on the one you see here."

Quilled purse construction

"The clutch bag was the most fun to construct and quill. Each outer spill
was quilled with black tissue paper around a piece of florist wire. I glued the
spills side by side to the black card base. Japanese specialty paper, the same as used to line the shoes, was used for the bag lining and gussets."

Quilled purse

"Once all of the spills were in place, the clutch was folded up, gussets glued into position, and purple crimping was used to cover all joins and give definition. Small daisies were randomly glued to the top of the spills; daisies also feature in the fascinator decoration."

Quilled fascinator

"The fascinator is made up of marquise shapes glued together to form a skullcap base. Flowers and paper feathers were attached to one side and were probably the easiest part to construct and quill."

Quilled fascinator feathers

The base/checkerboard measures 16” x 12” and is a piece of craft board
that Licia covered with 1630 (!!!) one inch cylinders.

Quilled checkerboard

"While making this piece I nearly didn’t finish it several times. When I came to a crossroad, I would think of what my mum would have been advising me (as she passed away last November)…"Don’t give up yet.” This thought inspired me to keep on track, literally, and so I dedicate this piece of quilling as a tribute to my dear mum.

Additional congratulations go out to Licia for being named a Fellow of the English Guild, the highest honor possible, in recognition
of her outstanding quilling, promotion of quilling, and support of the Quilling Guild.

Watch for a post in the near future about the unique tools Licia uses to create such elegant work.
Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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