Concentric Arcs Quilled Letter S Monogram
I ran a Pin It To Win It Contest last month and the end result was that the three winners could choose a monogram for me to make. The contest rules said that I’d make them all a simple swirled monogram, but when I sent out messages asking for what letter and colors they chose, they started sending me back themes. And for a moment I hesitated, thinking that it wasn’t exactly what I’d offered, and began to think about the huge time investment involved in creating them. Then it dawned on me that it was actually the most amazing way to get truly creative and show people some new stuff and what the various potentials of monograms were. Most of my monogram customers are worried about costs so they choose the simplest ones I can make – the swirls. The swirls are beautiful and they match any decor, but they’re not creative. I decided that the sky was the limit and that I’d make every effort to give them exactly what they’d envisioned!
The first winner wasn’t really sure what she wanted. She said she wanted it rose and brown and that she liked flowers. I linked her to a design I found on Pinterest which she really liked. I didn’t want to outright copy the design, so I basically only incorporated the flower heads into it. The background of the letter, the leaves, and other parts were unique. The end result was really stunning. I liked it so much that I think I’ll make myself one.
The second winner decided she wanted a peacock theme. I was truly excited about this. As you can see from browsing my portfolio, I have made a lot of peacocks. Not only are the colors gorgeous, they have a grace and beauty that is almost incomparable. There is a lot of symbolism in the peacock and I wish I had more opportunities to create them! I haven’t started this monogram yet, but will today, and I think it’s going to be spectacular.
The third winner looked over some designs she found on Pinterest and came back with something that Yulia Brodskaya had made. I took one look at it and immediately cringed!
Brodskaya is arguably the most talented paper artist on earth and people are naturally drawn to her work. The trouble I have with many of the designs is that when people look at the pictures on the internet, they think these are small and compact. From what I’ve seen, that’s not the case. Most of what I’ve seen have been at the very least large and at the most huge. Trying to scale down something that was originally measured in feet and trying to recreate it in mere inches is just plain difficult. Even worse is trying to work with tiny pieces of paper and getting them the same amount of space apart and the same curvature. Some of Yulia’s work is made with very large, very wide strips of paper which are much easier to bend to your will on that scale. But try the same technique with small spaces and tiny, flimsy strips and it just becomes tedious.
I think that if I’d created this monogram on a larger scale, it would have given me a better feeling once it was complete. But bending tiny strips of paper and trying to maintain a consistent arc and consistent separation made me crazy. I will never attempt anything like this, at least in 8×10 format, ever again.
I am usually happy when I finish a piece. I always have a sense of satisfaction and pride. Even my early work which was lackluster to say the least left me feeling positive. I’m trying to think of another piece that I absolutely hated and I just can’t.
I am disappointed in this piece for a number of reasons. First I hate the three strips of paper coming off the top of the S. Had I had more room to work with, I should have wrapped them into the empty space under the top right corner of the letter. But, once they were glued down, I had to go with it.
I am also unhappy at the pattern of arcs. I started on the shoulder of the S and was thinking too much about how to replicate as opposed to how to give a similar “feeling.” I wish I’d alternated the directions of the arcs and this would have left room for more long pieces extending from the body of the letter on the top right side. But, because of where I started and the angle, I was locked in.
The spaces between the strips are uneven. I can’t begin to explain how hard it is to hold little pieces of paper steady with a pair of tweezers and not only get it to stay where you want it, but have the distance between the nearby strips the same while still getting the curvature to match. Then to hold each piece in place as the glue dries. This monogram took me DAYS to make. I even created another one and ruined it by accident and had to start again.
Making this Brodskaya inspired monogram gave me the most enormous amount of respect for other artists, including Brodskaya. When I see work that incorporates her designs and it’s just spot on, I am simply in awe of it. I am not in that league, nor do I ever expect to be! But I am happy just seeing it and knowing the talent and time it took to make it. Brodskaya and others are truly the masters and they deserve recognition and praise for their abilities!