Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. The paper is rolled, looped, curled, twisted and otherwise manipulated to create shapes which make up designs to decorate greetings cards, pictures, boxes, eggs, and to make models, jewelry, mobiles etc. Quilling is a different form of handiwork or craft that would make great gifts and cards- Quillosophy gives us great insight to the world of quilling.
The person behind Quillosophy is Bavani Ratnam, a paper artist specializing in a technique called quilling to create custom artwork. She also creates handmade decorative crafts and wearable art primarily using paper but not limited to it. She enjoys making art pieces for her own exploration by trying out different ways of using paper & quilling to create art.
The primary product is custom quilling artwork which clients usually tend to order as gifts for their loved ones or for special occasions such as birthdays, engagements or weddings. It could be a reproduction of a photograph from the client or a personalized illustration created based specific descriptions by clients.
Apart from that Bavani also enjoy making wearable art made of paper such as quilled earrings, pendants, non-quilled paper earrings and or keepsakes like keychains or photo frames. These accessories are made primarily using paper with metal findings to hold them together or make them wearable. They are made to last by coating them with water resistant products or by locking them in resin. Other than accessories, she also produces paper art pieces & 3d models that are used for home décor or even for wedding decorations. These items vary from quilled centerpieces to alphabet models creating typography décor.
Quillosophy is more than just a business, it’s a labor of love & passion for creating beautiful works of art that carry a personal touch to it. It’s a blessing to be able to do what the founder loves and turn that into something that holds a personal value & appreciation for others. It also gives her the freedom to create whatever she likes, whenever she wants to and the best part is she gets to take her followers through the journey of each creation.
Quillosophy was founded in 2013, about a year after the founder started quilling. She actually tried out quilling before she knew an art called quilling existed. "It started with me creating birthday “attacks” for colleagues where I surprise them on their birthday by turning their cubicles into a completely different look with help of handmade decorations and most of these decorations were made from recycled stuff like paper from newspapers & magazines. This got me intrigued to work more with paper and later discovered that I really enjoyed it." Bavani, founder of Quillosophy shares with TallyPress.
Somewhere along the way while she was simply attempting to discover a unique way creating art from paper, she realised she could create art by gluing strips of paper on its side onto a background to create an image, basically like drawing but using paper. She then researched online to see it if there was anything similar, discovered the world of quilling and fell in love.
The Woman Behind Quillosophy
A close friend - the first person she made quilling artwork for, suggested that she should try and turn her quilling skills into a business. She quilled an image of his prom photograph back in the days in university as a wedding gift and was surprised to see the response of people who saw it. She then started getting small requests from friends to create similar work to be given away as gifts.
After about a year of quilling, she created the brand Quillosophy, set up a Facebook page, uploaded photos of hr previous work and started gaining a lot of interest as quilling was relatively uncommon in Malaysia at that time. She started getting orders of custom artwork as gifts for family & friends which then expanded over the past few years to getting orders from all over Malaysia.
Quillosophy is basically a one woman show, so Bavani handles everything from the moment an order is placed up till it is shipped out. The entire process of completing an order is a very personal experience for her as every piece of art that she makes is attached to a memory of her life at the time she is making them. From picking out the right type and colors of paper to working with her lovely frame making “uncle” who gets excited every time she walks into his shop to get a new piece framed (he’s a huge fan of her work), every step of the process is an experience she wouldn’t give up for anything.
Quilling Into The Future
She always try to deviate from the commonly used style of quilling to try and create pieces that are different than norm in terms of technique & style. She very rarely creates the same artwork more than once but when she does, she doesn't sell them as one-off pieces right from the start. Bavani would love to create more products that can be made commercially available as décor for home, office spaces and also event decorations. In addition, she would like to give more exposure to wearable paper art by maybe creating DIY kits for simple accessories where clients can learn quilling and at the same time make their own accessories.
On a personal level, Bavani wishes to explore more on turning quilling into bigger form of installations where its beauty can be admired by even more people. Right now she is experimenting on a few areas such as one photo manipulation of quilled artwork for prints and also infusing quilling into 3d models made from paper. She hope in 5 years’ time she would have produced substantial enough work to hold her own exhibition to showcase the beauty of quilling and paper to the world.
Watch Quillosophy performing her element on the video above or click here to visit Quillosophy's Facebook page.