Graceful On-Edge Paper Quilling - Bharathi Supramaniam

A few months ago I was taken by the elegance of the paper art that Dr. Bharathi Supramaniam in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was posting on Instagram. These on-edge quilled Ss, for example, have definite similarities as her light, fresh style is evident, but subtle nuances set them apart.


quilled letter S resembling swan with skeleton leaf accent

I love the placement of tiny curved paper strips to convey a beak, eye, and feathers, not to mention the way a skeleton leaf perfectly completes the body of this regal swan. And for the S shown below, she placed a small paper flower to fill the lower half of the S while the quilled swirls impart a sense of movement.

elegant on-edge paper S with paper flower accent

Bharathi has also posted a series of on-edge numbers that seem ready to take flight. Digging deeper on her Instagram feed, I found that in addition to quilling she is also a paper cutter, 3D model maker, and creator of stunning gigantic paper flowers. 


on-edge quilled number five


Enjoy getting to know Bharathi, or DrB as she is also called:

When and how did you first discover quilling?

I accidentally bumped into paper quilling in 2012 when I was browsing for a gift for my little sister. It was a handmade greeting card by Shruthi (Eenzy Beenzy, now known as ‘How Doodle Do’ on Facebook) and I fell in love with the way the art stood out. I searched for what this art was all about and began learning it online. It has been a magical journey for me ever since.


pair of quilled peacocks facing one another

What attracted you to quilling?


My first attraction was towards its three dimensional effect and how it portrayed different angled vibrations of its own. I first saw a handmade greeting card and a flower.


Your work is such a nice example of typographic, modern quilling. Have you done traditional quillwork also?


Thank you for your kind words of appreciation. It always motivates me to create even more beautiful art. I started off by making traditional paper quilling and then worked towards typography and modern paper quilling. I always wanted to create something different and slowly ventured into quilling Hindu gods and various Indian language letters. I've had the opportunity to quill for popular brands such as McDonald’s, Red Bull, Innisfree, and Coway.

3D paper model of shower bath scene

3D bath scene created for a South Korean cosmetics company



Have you always been interested in art and creating?

Art was something that I personally loved although I never really ventured into it in the earlier days. I was always fascinated with textures and colours, and took special interest in them. Over the years growing up I noticed that I particularly liked art that revolved around paper. I had the knack of creating different paper art and studied colour matching for three months.


Are you actively practicing medicine? If so, what is your specialty?

I am not practicing medicine. My dream was to become a plastic surgeon, but I took a different path and now I am an artist and entrepreneur.


layered circular paper cut design depicting items made with water alongside image of water purifier device
Ad created for Coway Ombak, a Malaysian water purifier



I noticed that you are also a website and logo designer. Did you study graphic design as well as medicine?

I did not pursue any educational degree other than medicine. I am a self-taught artist and ventured into graphic designing when I saw how digital platforms had a different approach in creating art. I particularly liked the fact that some of the programs had lots of mediums and colour blending; it was another exciting learning experience for me.


on-edge quilled monogram framed and hanging on wall surrounded by leafy branches



How do you find time to quill, do website design, and make your beautiful gigantic flowers, especially with a young child?

I enjoy spending a good amount of quality time with my son and he has been a huge part of my paper art journey from the beginning. I like working at night... I'm some sort of night owl. Most of the time I start working on these projects after I have completed the day.


quilled on-edge paper seven


Tell us about your favourite papers and tools. Do you cut your own strips or prefer pre-cut paper?

When I first started, I purchased my quilling tools and papers from Quilled Creations, however, over the years I have changed my preferences and now I cut my own strips and purchase papers from various places. I use a quilling tool, but I am not particular with any brand. I am still using the same quilling tool I bought in 2012. :) 


For paper cutting, I use a surgical scalpel. In terms of papers, I personally love textured and heavy stock papers as they give a solid look to the artwork. I feel the thinner ones are better for more delicate paper quilling art. Over the years I have explored various mediums for paper art and have gained invaluable knowledge.



quilled on-edge Diwali paper design of flame and peacock

You've made many quilled art pieces as framed home decor. What do you do with them?

The journey of paper quilling in my life began as a hobby, but my siblings and my friends encouraged me to pursue it as a small business. Today I run a design company where I design and create paper art, and recently have expanded as I now include digital designing and interior designing.



gigantic paper flowers stand on circular bases alongside woman


If you would like to contact Bharathi Supramaniam (seen here with a few of her gigantic paper flowers), reach her via the link in her Instagram profile, @drbdesigns, or via email - drbharathis at


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Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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  1. Thanks so much for sharing Bharathi's beauties - such lovely work - a nice way to start the day!!

  2. So glad you enjoyed seeing her work, Deb!


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