A Quilling piece for February's Artisan Craft Monthly Challenge.
The theme for this challenge was 'Life'. I love themes that really get you thinking about what they mean to you.
When I think of life, I think of birth. I think of nature. When I think of imagery that represents life I think of my many times bushwalking post-bushfire.
Perhaps it's on my mind so much because my home has been threatened by bushfire a few times over the last month. But much our native flora relies on bushfire to survive. It has evolved not only to cope with fire, but to encourage and rely on it for gestation. Walking around bushfire affected areas and seeing the green shoots emerging from the blackened bush is what life is to me. The beginning of new life from total and utter devastation, the reminder that life goes on is spite of everything that happens.
Post-bushfire, there are two plants that feature most prominently in my memory. One is the grass tree: after fire the grass trees sprout what we call kangaroo tails -- scapes that dominate the landscape. The second is the uncurling fern fronds, a smaller, more subtle, but none the less prominent feature.
I chose fern fronds as their imagery allows a few more artistic posibilities, but also because of the second meaning. Koru is Māori for "loop" and is one of their symbols. It's a spiral shape based on an unfurling silver fern frond and it symbolises new life, growth, strength and peace.
Summer has been too hot for fondant work so I abandoned the thought of making it from cake and turned to quilling instead. This is my second time quilling. I was short for time so there's a lot less detail than I would have liked. It's more stylised in the image of a fern frond rather than being an exact replica of it. The piece is 30x30cm and took about 50 hours. I stuck mainly to swirls to fill the shape to follow on with that Māori symbolism.
This was my first quilling piece: