The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

July 10, 2014

Weekend Arts Festival looks good on paper

HERMITAGE — Paper quilling is an ancient craft that has fallen in popularity to crocheting, scrapbooking and other crafting endeavors.

Dana Eade noted that, when she exhibits her quilled pieces at shows, older people are familiar with her art, but younger folks often are not.

“A lot of people have no idea what it is,” said Eade, who will show quilling works, crocheted goods and handmade notebooks at the Hermitage Arts Festival, which runs this weekend behind the Hermitage City Building.

Even so, craft stores cater to quillers, who use thin strips of paper to make flowers and decorative flourishes on photo albums, picture frames and other common items, or original compositions for stand-alone artworks.

“It seems like it’s coming back,” said Eade, of Shenango Township. “People are doing more modern things with it.”

Eade considers her work a mix of modern and traditional designs, but the basic technique is pretty simple, which she demonstrated.

Quilling paper comes in long strips of many colors. She cuts a strip to the size she wants – in this case, about three inches long – then inserts one strip in her quilling tool, a slotted needle with a wooden handle.

She turns the tool it to make the paper into a roll. Eade glues the end to keep the paper in the rolled shape.

Then, she squashes the roll to make an oval, and it becomes the petal of a flower.

Paper cut that thin “naturally wants to curl,” Eade said. The trick is to get the curl to the dimension you want.

Keeping it straight, well, that’s another matter.

Eade shows two custom works, an “M” she made for her mother, and an “E” she created for herself. The lines of the letters are straight, but are adorned with curlicues for decoration. The quill paper stands on its side, glued to a sturdier paper backing.

For these pieces, she drew an outline and affixed the quill paper to it.

“It takes a lot of patience,” she said noting, she’s had to rip up and start over on some projects. “I use a pretty strong glue.”

Eade is a relative newcomer to quilling – she’s done it about three years – but has always made crafts in some form.

“I like to keep busy,” she said.

She embraces the process of starting with raw materials and turning them into something else.

“People request different things and I try to figure out how to make them,” Eade said. “It’s always fun to try to make something new.”

Eade has participated in the Hermitage Arts Festival for three years, the only show she regularly attends. Her job as a pharmacist requires some weekend work, making it difficult to commit to more shows.

She said her sales are “decent” at the festival, but making money is not her primary concern.

“It’s more of a hobby to me than a big business,” she said. “I like to see people appreciate my work.”

Eade said she enjoys the setting of the festival, and the organizers are nice to work with and “very accommodating.”

She also relishes getting out from her booth and seeing what other artists are displaying.

“There’s a lot of really unique artwork,” Eade said. “That show seems to get a range of artwork. There’s a lot of different things.”

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