Quilled Bumble Bee
What’s all the buzz about? It’s me. The Quilled Bumble Bee!
My father took up bee-keeping this past year and when I was in the middle of thinking of my next project, he called. So while we were talking about this, that, and the other, like we do almost every night of the week, the vision of a quilled bumble bee popped into my head.
As usual, the first thing I did was hit the web to look for reference photos. Google image search is a great way to find just about anything you want to create. I settled upon a few different photos. One showing wing structure, one showing color, and one showing body fuzz.
I sketched out the general layout of the bee and lightly drew the major sections of his wings in. Using 1/4″ black strips I glued down the wing outline, then the large veins. After that I started popping in the smaller veins. Once I had most of them in, I went back in and put parallel strips against all of the major veins to give it a thicker appearance. I actually tried using clear plastic baggies (the ones the quilling paper comes in) as a filler for the wings, but found that even though I could coil it okay, it wouldn’t hold it’s shape. So I decided to leave them with just veins.
For the abdomen, I made a tight roll, then pushed it out into a cone/tube. Then I painted glue on the inside of it so each strip would bond to the ones in front of and behind it. Once it was dry I cut it in half, making a sort of solid arc. Like a tunnel or a dome. I did this once with black and once with yellow.
They didn’t fit the way they were so I set them onto the paper and kind of scribed where I needed them to lay more flat then I trimmed the corners down on those sides. I fit them together to create a semi-3D abdomen.
Once it was dried to the background, I began the tedious task of attaching the fringe. I didn’t fringe into 1/4″ strips along the width of the strip. I cut dozens of 1/4″ strips into 1/2″ long sections and fringed into that so it would be longer. I could have saved time by ordering 3/8″ paper, but I didn’t want to spend any more money and wait for shipping at the time.
The rest of the body is pretty self explanatory. I used a tight coil shaped into a dome for the eye and regular quills for the legs. The antennae were 1/4″ strips that I cut at an angle so that they were thicker on the side of the head and tapered to a point at the end.
I hope you enjoyed my quilled bumble bee!