HELLO THERE, I'M TRACY. WELCOME TO RUNNERBEAN!
Using an ancient technique called quilling, I bring paper to life—crafting long, narrow strips of it into intricate and dimensional figurines, miniatures, charms and other unusual pieces that reflect the vibrancy and joy I feel when creating them.
Although quilling has been around for centuries, my interpretation of it is unique: I’ve translated what is a fairly traditional form into a modern and fun style that I haven’t encountered anywhere else. I take this:
And transform it into this:
The process is slow and close: I roll each strip into a tight, solid “coin,” then—almost as if I were working with clay—I manipulate and shape those coins into finished art that will brighten your spirit and your space.
Art, in its many forms, has always been my passion: from the time I first held a crayon in my hand, I have sought every opportunity to express my creativity—painting, drawing and sculpting my way through elementary, high school and college. Since then, I’ve found that the tactile, almost meditative experience of quilling suits me so perfectly, and feels so magical, that I can’t imagine doing anything else.
I first encountered the technique more than a decade ago, when I was planning my wedding. Perusing a bridal magazine, I spotted an exquisite paper cake topper that had been rolled and shaped into flowers and filigree leaves. Smitten with the photo and the intricacy of the art, I immediately purchased a starter quilling kit and never looked back.
Although I didn’t have the skills to craft my own cake topper back then, I have since developed expertise through years of practice and refining my technique. My original patterns have been published in two books; one of my paper pendants has been featured in Altered Paper Jewelry: Artful Adornments from Beautiful Papers; and I helped to develop an official accreditation program for the North American Quilling Guild.
Some of my early commissioned work included framed, quilling-embellished wedding invitations, like this:
I continue to offer these and other commissions, as well as my original work, through my Etsy shop. The little girl figurine I made as a cake topper for my daughter’s 3rd birthday (now an annual tradition and collectible keepsake!) inspired the dolls you’ll find there.
When I’m not working in my Vermont-based home studio, I make paper creations with my two young children, who love to roll, crimp and glue the strips of scrap paper I keep just for them. Please contact me if you have questions or just want to say hello! I'd love to hear from you!