Circling in Colour

March 1, 2022 Craig Spence No comments exist
Sarah Brunt is pushing the art of Quilling in new directions.

Sarah Brunt & the fine art of quilling ‘Circles of Colour’

When Sarah Brunt first saw a YouTube video about quilling she was intrigued and wanted to give it a try. Seven years on, the little known technique has become a passion, and her colourful compositions have taken the form in a new direction. 

“Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved to make things, so I’ve done pottery, I had a spell with watercolour that was lots of fun, but this quilling is something that I’ll stick with for the rest of my life,” she said. “I feel most at home making this art.” 

Featured at Rainforest Arts in March and April, Brunt’s work will be on display in the gallery and in the adjacent Coastal Community Credit Union. 

In case you’re not familiar with quilling, it’s the art of scrolling coloured paper strips into tight reels or ‘circles’, which are hardened and brightened by dipping and curing in mod podge (an artists’s adhesive, sealant and finish). Brunt glues these circles onto canvasses, creating intricate designs. 

“It does take a lot of time. It’s not a quick process,” she said, “but it’s very satisfying.” 

Starting out, she created pieces that were similar to other quillers’ works. But it wasn’t long before she struck out on a style all her own, arranging the circles on two dimensional panels instead of building three-dimensional forms. 

“It just sort of evolved that way,” she said. “The initial video that I saw, I tried to duplicate that. I did it and I had fun doing it, but my mind was going, ‘What else can I do with this, because I didn’t want to have 500 bowls in my house’.” 

Vibrant colour is another hallmark of Brunt’s compositions. “I am most inspired by colour,” she said. “Generally the first thing that comes to mind for me is colour. I love bright colours and colours that contrast well together.” 

People ask Brunt if she gets bored or frustrated with the repetitive, time consuming process of quilling. “It’s a great feeling,” she replies. “It’s my little meditative process. When I immerse myself into the process of doing it everything that’s in the background of that day just sort of melts away. 

“It’s time consuming, but it’s not tedious.” 

Drop by the gallery April 24 between noon and 3pm to meet Sarah and see a quilling demo. You can also see an online demo at under the ‘Demos’ tab. Rainforest Arts is located at 9871 Willow Street in Chemainus. More information is available at or 250-246-4861 or 

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