Monday, 28 November 2011
A new start ... and some finishes
Over the weekend, I've been thinking about exactly how I'm going to make use of my new Twitter account. Obviously, I shall be 'tweeting' from time to time about what I personally am doing quilling-wise (for those of you who are interested!!) - but I've also decided to use my Twitter feed to report and re-tweet items of news that I read/hear about in the international quilling community as a whole. By 'news', I mean exhibitions, awards, challenges, new techniques, details of new books and articles about quilling, and perhaps even links to interesting tutorials. What it WON'T be is a general showcase for individual quilling projects, as we already have our own blogs and Facebook groups for that particular purpose. I'm hoping that compiling this 'feed' will prove to be a useful resource for me in my role on the editorial team of Quill America (the quarterly magazine of the North American Quilling Guild), when researching material for possible future articles. Plus, I'm also hoping that quillers worldwide will find it useful to have a source of quilling news all in one place, rather than having to search for news items amongst all the individual projects posted on a typical Facebook group page.
So, if you're already on Twitter (or even just thinking about joining), I'd like to invite you to become a follower of my new feed @quilliance
Once I have acquired a reasonable number of followers, I'll start posting news items in earnest ... and then we can all find out exactly where this idea is going to lead!
And now for the finishes ...
Meanwhile, I promised to post a few details about the protective finishes I use for quilling at the request of my loyal blog follower, Sathya. I often get asked about this, so hopefully the information that follows may be of interest to other quillers, too.
The way I see it, if you are going to preserve quilled pieces (especially jewellery), you first have to make them strong, and then add something to make them waterproof. For strengthening purposes, I always like to coat the outside edges of quilled items such as pendants, brooches and earrings with PVA (poly vinyl acetate) glue (the same adhesive that I use to join coils with). I use a small paint brush to apply the PVA, paying particular attention to reinforcing crucial joins (for example, the area where the hanging ring attaches on to an earring as in the photo above). I also like to apply PVA to the backgrounds on which my quillings are mounted (like the silver heart-shape in my photo). Once the PVA is dry, the areas that have been coated become shiny and quite hard - in fact, they feel almost plasticised. BUT, if the piece gets accidentally splashed with water - which could easily happen if a piece of quilled jewellery is worn outside on a rainy day - the PVA will temporarily turn white and sticky. So you also need to add an extra waterproof coating in the form of lacquer or varnish.
Because of this, I've also been experimenting with applying clear nail varnish to my quilled pieces, and it seems to work very well. The varnish is easy to apply on top of the dried PVA coating using the integral brush, and it dries within a couple of hours to leave a very presentable glossy finish. I think the varnish also helps to further strengthen the finished piece.
If you are wanting to preserve a larger piece of quilling, such as a picture to go in a frame, I think spraying it with lacquer would still be the way to go in order to ensure coverage of all the intricate little 'nooks and crannies' in it. But I would definitely recommend nail varnish for small items of jewellery. What do other quillers think?
Don't forget to check out @quilliance on Twitter! I look forward to 'seeing' you there!