Distinctive Quilling Style - The Accidental Quiller

There's no question that quillers continue to use the hallmark supply of the craft - the lowly paper strip - in novel ways. In the past decade I bet I've looked at tens of thousands of quilling examples, yet still feel a surge of excitement each time a completely unique method crosses my path.

detail of dog's face composed of tightly layered paper strips

New trends have developed to the point that the definition of quilling now encompasses all manner of designs made up of paper strips placed on edge, whether they are rolled, folded, or in the case of today's featured artist, Zoe, better known as The Accidental Quiller, stacked side by side.

layered paper seascape with sailboat and beach made of paper strips and pinched paper shapes

She is a prolific artist in England who creates images that are surrounded by blocks of paper strips often arranged as a gridded background. Judging by the number of varied pieces in her Facebook gallery, it's safe to say Zoe prefers to quill each design only once, often with a focus on animals and art supplies.

layered paper rabbit wall art composed of paper strips

Note that the gridwork is not layered with the central image placed on top... instead, the background of squares is fitted around it on a canvas covered board. Most finished pieces measure 8 x 10 inches, with 10 x 14 inches being the largest she has created to date. Tiny strips impart texture, such as the tips of these paintbrush bristles.

photograph of paintbrushes and same photo recreated with paper strips

Zoe mainly uses her own photos and ones she finds on Pinterest as references. "I have reworked other artists' paintings and they loved them. Some are just an idea that I'll draw."

close up view of layered paper paintbrush wall art

"With the crisscross background, each individual piece of paper has to be layered very tightly to the next piece to create the best effect. I found out early on that adding multiple pieces at a time to make the process go more quickly doesn’t work."

quilled retro Volkswagen bus

"I was always stuck as to how to fill a piece once I had the main design; a solid or empty background just wasn't right. I played about with the crisscross idea and it’s been my trademark background ever since. I cut my own strips using a variety of guillotine blades and regular A4 80 gram paper. Thicker paper doesn’t make the piece look as tight as I like."

colorful paintbrush container wall art composed of layered paper strips
I was curious as to why Zoe calls herself an accidental quiller and learned that she turned to paper crafting to pass the time while caring for her ill husband at home. Wreath making and book folding held her interest for a while, but once she came across quilling via Facebook, she was hooked.

colorful quilled vases and heart displayed with vase of lilies on television stand

Zoe began with rolled newspaper, then moved to colored paper and the creation of playful items like these vases and heart. Fringed flowers took over for a time... just look at the number she made to cover a mannequin!
mannequin covered with tiny, colorful fringed paper flowers
Zoe, The Accidental Quiller is on Instagram and Facebook.

artist with quilled tiger wall art

Are you doing groundbreaking quilling or paper art? If so, let us know via a comment below.





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Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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