Anatomical Quilling: Paper Cross Sections of the Body by Lisa Nilsson

Artistic renderings of the internal body, from anatomy books to fine art, are often poorly communicated versions of real-life. These paper creations by Lisa Nilsson, however, create the perfect balance of aesthetically pleasing detail and scientific accuracy… even though they’re completely made with strips of paper. Created using the paper-crafting technique of quilling, originally used by Renaissance monks and nuns to make artistic use of the worn out gilded edges of Bibles, Nilsson has curled and twirled some remarkably detailed and tiny pieces. Why does paper make these pieces so enjoyably perfect?

“I find quilling exquisitely satisfying for rendering the densely squished and lovely internal landscape of the human body in cross section.”

“Densely squished” is a very accurate term, as her pieces are often only a few inches across. The close-up images shown here do a good job showing the impressive level of attention she pays to each internal shape, appearing much larger than the real-life pieces. Viewed from a distance, the pieces loose their strictly paper based form and look nearly photographed or drawn. You can see more of Nilsson’s creations, including paintings with just as much attention to detail, at


Astonishingly Dense Quilled Paper Rugs by Lisa Nilsson

These astonishing renderings of symmetrically designed carpets are the beginning of a new paper sculpture series by artist Lisa Nilsson who arranges quilled strips of hand-cut mulberry paper at remarkably small scale. The new paper works are a departure from show a marked leap in her nearly unbelievable vision of paper quilling, something All Things Paper’s Ann Martin boldly states “has never been seen in its hundreds of years as an art form.” Unlike a traditional rug that might be woven row by row, Nilsson instead starts at the very center and progresses slowly outward, a tedious process that takes several months to complete a single piece. If you want to learn more, head over to All Things Paper to read an interview with Nilsson about her process. Via: thisiscolossal