Numismatic Quilling

Numismatic QuillingOne aspect of art is pushing boundaries – both your’s and society’s.  They can be large or small or known-in-advance or sneak up on you while you are working.

One of the creative things I do is quilling.  Previously, I’ve written about how it is steeped in religiosity and sexism.  I didn’t expect it to push my social justice buttons in the here and now though!

I know someone that collects coins and paper money.  They suggested that I invent “Numismatic Quilling.”  I laughed and immediately put it out of my mind.

Then I received an unknown package in the mail.  The joy – I adore getting mail.  The package contained colorful paper money from throughout the world.  Gorgeous.  Varied in color.  Strong paper.  Unique.  Intriguing.

At the time I was considering the subject matter for my next quilled wall art piece.  I decided on a seahorse.  The colors would be fairly monochromatic with the option for extensive subtle variation.  This woven tapestry of color, texture, and shape would give life, depth, reality, and quality to the piece.

After choosing a subject matter I then gather paper I have that might work in the project.  I had put the colorful money in the quilling bin…otherwise, I might have forgotten about it!  As a result, several bills were included in the first batch of paper options.

From there I started working on the seahorse.  Finally!  A few days into the project I found that I wasn’t using the bills.  I was ignoring them and making other choices for what to use next.  So, I cut several strips from one of the bills.

WOW, that was weird.  Cutting up money isn’t something you do everyday!  Even though the money wasn’t US and had virtually *NO* value in its county; destroying it still created unease (as does writing this sentence!).  The money I received was either no longer the official currency of the country (if the country still exists) or its value was approximately the value of the paper I would have used for this project anyway.  Basically, I have to get appropriate paper…which costs money.  And lastly, the money was free to me.

Rationalize all you want Kim!  You cut up *money* to make a quilled seahorse.

ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.  Art? Social Justice? Rationalizations? Value? Privilege? Economics?


I did it and told some friends about it.  One asked me if I had seen the video of Edwina Rogers wrapping gifts (bribes?) in sheets of money,  Of course, I had…thanks for the comparison.

I ended up cutting up and using two bills in this project.  I wish I kept track of which ones I used.  

Next time I will.

~She says with unease~

Kim Rippere

Kim Rippere has been creating her whole life. Currently, she is focused on paper crafting and cooking. She posts her creative endeavors at Craftisan Studios. You can purchase her work via her shop. She is the Founder and President of Secular Woman. Kim randomly blogs at Rippere.com, but can most likely be found on her Facebook page or on twitter. She earned a degree in Philosophy and a Masters in Business; and is a former business executive.

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  1. So this just raises the question: What would be an appropriate subject for an all-banknote piece?

  2. I’m not sure. But, I have enough to find out!

    The problem I found in trying to use just banknotes in some areas was that while they are colorful…they don’t really create much color when used this they. They tend to blend together so creating color variation with just banknotes…the variation will be subtle. Something to try out though.

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