Up until now EastWest’s connection to the greeting card sector has been through the giftwrap and gifts it produces under licence, notably with Bug Art and Turnowsky. However, having spotted – and been amazed by the artistry of Quilling Card, at a US trade show, Terry Taylor, director of EastWest was eager to bring the brand of hand-crafted greeting cards and prints to the UK.
Having debuted on EastWest’s stand at the recent Paperworld show in Frankfurt, a curated collection of the handmade cards, featuring the intricate hand-created paper quilled designs, are now available to retailers in the UK.
“I was incredibly impressed with the artistry of Quilling Card’s designs the first moment I saw them, learning more about the whole ethos of the company and its founders’ commitment to fair trade that it made me even keener to work with them,” Terry told PG Buzz. “They are more than a card, each one is a handmade piece of art,” he added.
In 2011, Vietnamese-born Huong Wolf, who had worked in marketing throughout Southeast Asia and the US for large corporations such as Unilever and L’Oreal, together with her husband Raphael pursued her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the art of quilling (rolled, shaped, and glued paper strips) and set up Quilling Card. The company, which employs 100 quillers in Vietnam who handmake the cards and pictures, is Fair Trade Certified with the Fair Trade Federation.
“The art of quilling has been around for centuries, “ explains Terry. “Anyone who has seen the recent Mary Queen of Scots film would have seen the art in action.” The name quilling is thought to come from the origin of the art; birds’ feathers, or quills, were used to coil the strips of paper around.
While popular opinion suggests that it was first seen in ancient Egypt it most notably making its mark throughout the eastern world. During the Renaissance, nuns and monks would roll gold-gilded paper trimmed from books to adorn religious objects, mimicking costly gold filigree. In later years, quilling continued to be practiced throughout Europe as it caught on as a leisurely activity for affluent women.
EastWest’s initial launch comprises 100 designs, spanning two sizes. Terry is also having conversations with heritage sites and specialist interest bodies about bespoke commissions.
As previously announced, another exciting recent development for Quilling Card as that one of the publisher’s designs has reached the finals of the US Louie greeting card awards.
Blue Eyed Sun’s quilling action
EastWest is not the only UK company to be celebrating the art of quilling as Spring Fair marked the official launch of Blue Eyed Sun’s distribution agreement with Italian-based Origamo for its handmade quilled cards. The relationship got off to a flying start with the quilled range reaching the finals of the UK Gift of The Year awards, organised by the GA. Read the full story HERE.
Top: Some of Quilling Card’s craftspeople at work in Vietnam.