Aishwarya uses strips of colourful quilling paper and calligraphy to create art work

Aishwarya L.'s colourful creations are swirly, intricate and entirely handmade. Using just strips of colour paper and calligraphy, she creates greeting cards, wedding invites, bookmarks, photo frames and plaques under her hobby-turned-start-up ‘Curls and Strips'.

Her aesthetic paper art is called quilling — strips of paper are curled into shapes and forms.

“I learnt quilling while I was doing my Masters in Munich. It's a rather popular art form there. Though some people here do it too, it's not very well-known. The quilling paper is thicker than normal paper and is stiff enough to retain the shape that's created,” she says. “I've always been into art and craft. Quilling just seemed a natural extension of what I was already familiar with.”

More work, more time

Aishwarya is a design engineer who spends her weekends quilling. “My art is different because I do calligraphy as well,” she says. “The amount of time it takes to create something depends on the size and intricacy of the work. I can finish two bookmarks in half-an-hour, but a bigger art work takes about four to six hours to execute. And since the design and colouring are my own, it takes time to put everything together.”

Help at home

Coming from a family of artists, Aishwarya constantly improvises on her design techniques. “I learnt calligraphy in school and practise it regularly. I learnt many more quilling techniques from a popular Russian quiller. I also went to Italy and learnt a few more. Since my mother is also an artist, she helps me with my art,” she adds.

Knowing what paper to use and how comes with practice, she says.

Aishwarya doesn't sell online yet, but has an active website where she showcases her products.

Driven by blue

“A lot of my designs are inspired by the Russian quiller. I learnt a lot from her. For instance, the Beehive Technique, where you have many curls within a curl. You'll find a lot of blue in most of my designs; it's one of my favourite colours,” she says.

Products from Curls and Strips are available at Connexions, Ashok Nagar. Visit www.giftinginstyle.weebly.com for details.