Prolific Paper Quilling Artist: Justine Kuran

It's safe to say a more dedicated paper quiller would be hard to find. Today's Artist Spotlight is shining on Justine Kuran of Melbourne, Australia who has been an independent commercial quilling artist since 2016.


smiling female paper quilling artist holding framed all-white floral quilled collage


Originally, Justine's business involved incorporating scrapbooking techniques into large-scale photo collages. After picking up a quilling kit at a $2 store and teaching herself to quill, she began placing small quilled decorations into collages as space fillers. She asked to display them at a local cafe - sales happened right away and a new venture was born.


paper quilling home studio displays row of quilled hamsas and cube shelves filled with quilling supplies 


Having fallen in love with the process, she then turned to making all-quilled pieces that proved popular with customers as well. Quilled Middle Eastern hamsas were the first creations that people especially responded to due to their symbolic protection. She continues to create many of these; mandalas and hearts are also popular. 


quilled gilded edge mandala

You can see how densely Justine layers flowers en masse. Just think how many individual blooms were needed to fill her largest work to date that measures more than 5.5 feet across! It boggles the mind, especially considering Justine works completely alone... there are no minions behind the scenes. She admits to spending as many as 16-18 hours a day quilling when in a creative zone.


detail of silver edge quilled flowers and butterflies 


Justine acknowledges that inspiration for many of her designs springs from a variety of well-known artists. For example, after seeing an exhibit of Ai Weiwei's work in the National Gallery of Victoria that included a carpet-like installation of all-white porcelain flowers, she began creating larger-scale floral quilled pieces using just one color or shades of a particular color. 


box containg hundreds of quilled white flowers and butterflies


all-white quilled piece composed of flowers and butterfly


The interesting thing about many of her designs is that although they are mainly composed of traditional coils made into flowers and butterflies, they have a modern aesthetic that resonates with clients. And despite her love of working with all-white, she also gravitates to bright colors and pop culture. 


large scale quilled paper art composed of open marquise coils in greens and pinks

She has even recreated Jeff Koons' iconic balloon dog sculptures with vivid paper strips, and says she is careful to seek permission from an artist before beginning a project as she never wants to appropriate anyone else's work.


 standing man working on quilled pieces displayed on table in frame shop

Although Justine quills alone, she does have each piece professionally framed after spending weeks completing it. Take a gander at the bazillion tight coils that make up The Puppy! Framing is also essential for the art shows and exhibits in which she participates.

hot pink quilling detail of rolled paper tight coils


Last year Justine sat down with Charlotte Marshall of The Quilling Quarter YouTube channel to chat about her life as a commercial quilling artist. You'll hear how she's built her business to the point that she has been sought out to create pieces for visiting Hollywood celebrities and international government officials. Often there is a nod to her Australian homeland via the chosen color palette.






She also finds time to sell quilling supplies via her website shop, Inspired Craft Essentials (@inspiredcraftessentials on Instagram). I noticed she sells Foam Glue, something I wasn't familiar with. "Foam Glue is my only choice; it dries clear and quick! I always mount my work on matboard before framing, but a lot of my quilling is glued directly onto foam core or paper."


circular gilded quilled art piece composed of flowers and butterflies


Visit Justine's website: justinekurandesigns. She is on Instagram, Facebook, and is a member of the Paper Artist Collective. In addition to private commissions, her work is sold through the Jewish Museums in Sydney and Melbourne, and she is represented by the Nissarana Gallery in Noosa. I enjoyed this post about Justine on the Engaging Women blog.


As an Etsy affiliate, I earn from qualifying linked purchases

 at no additional cost to you.


Ann Martin
Ann Martin

This is a short biography of the post author and you can replace it with your own biography.