Lisa Nilsson was on an antiquing trip three or four years ago when a gilt crucifix caught her eye. The cross was crafted using a Renaissance-era technique called quilling, where thin paper is rolled to form different shapes and patterns.
“I thought it was really beautiful, so I made a couple of small, abstract gilt pieces,” says Nilsson, an artist based in North Adams, Massachusetts. She incorporated these first forays in quilling into her mixed media assemblages.
Almost serendipitously, as Nilsson was teaching herself to mold and shape the strips of Japanese mulberry paper, a friend sent her a century-old, hand-colored photograph of a cross section of a human torso from a French medical book. “I have always been interested in scientific and biological imagery,” says the artist. “This image was really inspiring.” - Continue reading at Smithsonian.com.