Going for the quill

Going for the quill

Swarna Reddy is a person of few words; she prefers to let her work do the talking.  She makes no grandiose claims about childhood passion or chasing dreams. Her association with art is just like her creations  - pure and simple.  

"I  was into  embroidery earlier  and was very particular towards certain styles like Kasuti. We were based in Raichur initially and I used to teach embroidery and  tailoring there. Then we came to Bangalore and I got a job as an arts and crafts teacher in Army Public School. Since I couldn't teach embroidery to the small children, I turned towards quilling," she says.  

It has been more than a decade after that and now Swarna is deeply interested in quilling. Cards, paper bags and other artefacts  are transformed by her nimble fingers into colourful works of art.  Orders are taken up on a regular basis but for her, it is all about the satisfaction.  

"When I sit to quill, I usually forget the world around me. I concentrate intensely on what I am making and if there is a  particular design that I want to make, I will keep working on it till I get it right," she says and adds, "I  do it whenever I get some spare time; like when I am watching television or during mornings after everyone leaves for work."  

While greeting cards with floral motifs are her favourites, she considers the quilled 'Ganesha' as her masterpiece. The first such work was kept for herself though she created a replica for a friend later  on.  

"If I make something  for someone, the design will depend on their preferences and personality. Most of my friends and family members have received  a handmade gift from me and they love it."

Talking about her family, Swarna says, "All my sisters  used to do embroidery but no one does this type of work. I learned it all on my own and my post graduation degree in home science helped in furthering my interest in the field of crafts.  My immediate family is happy about my interest and encourage me in all ways possible. My sons buy me any type of  material I want, sometimes from places like the USA. Otherwise, I source things from 'Itsy Bitsy' or 'MK Stores' in Jayanagar."

Patience is key to this field. "It  is time-consuming. You have to painstakingly look into all the finer details and ensure neatness of work at the same time. While a normal card can take close to two hours to finish, the bigger ones take up to 3-4 hours each," she explains.  

Swarna now plans to  come up with items that will merge her interest in quilling with her talent in punch craft.    

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