Meet Pat

Video (Meet Pat) -

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quilling with Molly Smith

I have the pleasure of knowing Molly Smith. Some of you may know her too if you have purchased her book The New Paper Quilling or you may have met her at one of the North American Quilling Guild conferences. Last year, at the conference in Rhode Island, Molly worked with me when we gave workshops on quilling and cardmaking. Molly is the one who created the Whimsiquills Glue Spot, one of my favorite items. To get back to the “glue Spot”; this is a nifty little item patented by my friend and fellow quiller Molly Smith. She gave me one at our NAQG quilling conference and I have been using it ever since. It has a great plastic like finish that you can spread your glue on. After you are done working you just peel off the dried glue remnants and toss them. Molly is a wonderful person; I am sure you will enjoy reading her quilling story.

“In 1980, I was attending therapy sessions after my sister's sudden death. It was suggested by the therapist that I find a new craft to work on. I went to several stores but wasn't interested in anything I saw. As I was leaving a Ben Franklin Store, I looked down and saw a small quilling kit in the parking lot. It was priced slightly more than a $1 and contained background paper, wood frame, paper strips, instruction sheet, pattern, glue and a hatpin. I gave it a try, loved to quill and was hooked immediately. I taught myself using the corsage pin included in the kit. I practiced with strips of spiral notebook paper I cut with scissors. I enjoyed quilling so much, I started purchasing the large, more difficult kits that took weeks to finish.”

I always ask my interview subjects if they were always “artistically inclined” or if they had training in the arts; here is Molly’s answer:” My favorites have varied over the years My background was watching and learning as my mother did every craft imaginable. She taught me to do it all correctly too-- once, she made me rip out a crocheted blanket, until I got to my mistake, and start all over. My lifetime career was in the paralegal field . . . I first made gifts for co-workers, and in 1981, was featured in the newspaper for having a unique craft. There was a period of time when I quilled flower arrangements and put them in small open shadow box frames for selling at my parent's RV rallies. They were the perfect size to hang in a RV. I thought I could sell enough to buy a car! I didn't become interested in quilling as a business (or become obsessed with it) until 2000, twenty years after I began.

Currently, my favorite quilling is anything miniature-- watches, plant pots and flowers. My second favorite is making large, gigantic pieces of art using one-inch or wider strips glued end-to-end and crimped. A ten-inch snowflake was published in an online ezine (online magazine) in 2008. I like to go from one extreme to the other, and quill traditional designs on cards or do wedding invites in between.

I get new ideas from trend research and keeping track with what is new at the craft and hobby industry shows. I also keep a journal and jot down inspirational colors or ideas as I see or think of them. Magazines are good reference also. I keep a file of interesting tearsheets of color combinations from magazines in a folder, and save pictures from the Internet on my computer.

Stay tuned for part two, next week. Molly gives some valuable information about getting your work “out there” in magazines etc. To see more of Molly's Work click here and click on the gallery link.
The quilled cherries shown here are 16" long and were done for a CHA display. The giant flowers above are done with wide strips (1 wide) which are crimped. Molly says the crimping actually strengthen the paper so you an make oversize flowers.


Anonymous said...

What a delightful article Pat ...Molly is truly a gifted and inspiring artist, an awesome woman,an exceptional teacher/mentor and very, very special friend.Her book is fabulous(I fell in love with it before even knowing her)and is the one I pull out when I need to look up a "how to do that " or need a little inspiration.I will be looking forward to part 2of your article.

DeeDee said...

Molly is a true artist, shares her craft openly and a wonderful lady to know...I look back to her book often and still get ideas from her crafts,....lovely article you have shared with us ...she is an inspiring artist indeed..


charlene said...

Thanks for sharing with us ! Molly is indeed one of the most talented ladies I know, who shares so freely. I have learned so much from her. I am looking forward to part 2 of your article.

Molly's niece...Amy said...

What an amazing article! I can not wait to read part two! Molly is one of the most talented, giving, biggest hearted, and creative people I know. If I could sum it up, I would say "Molly...can give hugs like a mother, keep secrets like a sister, and share love like a friend!" Thanks for sharing this article!