Framingham Card Company wins 2 Guinness World Records for artwork

FRAMINGHAM, MA – A Framingham card company celebrated its 10th anniversary by breaking two Guinness World Records, using the art of quilling to recreate a painting by Vincent Van Gogh into a massive masterpiece that culminated in a Vietnamese factory in April.

Quilling Card won the Guinness World Records on April 8 for most people quilling simultaneously as well as the largest quilling mosaic. A team of 500 bowlers in Ho Chi Mihn City in Vietnam performed the “Starry Night” line. It took about 40 miles of paper — 191,948 strips — and 3,399 man-hours to create the 15.09-foot-tall by 19.07-foot-wide piece, according to Veronica Beretta, senior designer at Quilling Card. Attaching the paper strips used 11,970 grams of glue.

“The art of quilling is the rolling, shaping and twisting of individual strips of paper to create a three-dimensional design,” Beretta explained in a recent interview with Patch, noting that the craft developed in the United States. thanks to online quilling groups. “This art form dates back centuries. It dates back to ancient Egypt and was used throughout the Renaissance as well as to adorn religious statues.”

“While we didn’t create the art form, we repurposed it to introduce it to the stationery industry,” she added. There are “hundreds of designs” available, which card seekers purchase because the image means something special to the recipient, such as a flower or an animal.

The project was conceived about four months ago to honor the company’s 10th anniversary on May 10.

“It’s been a surreal process to be involved,” Beretta added of the record quest. “Sometimes I forget to admire how amazing this process was.”

“I was one of those who said, ‘Maybe we should try to set a Guinness World Record,'” Baretta explained with a laugh. “I thought it could be really cool and fun. I ended up eating those words over the next few months.”

Sara Schofield, design director at Quilling Card, added that the company was simultaneously working to establish May 10 as “National Quilling Day”.

“The premise was that it was a day that was not specifically related to our business,” she explained. “But it was all about celebrating the art and sharing more information about it. Once we fixed the holiday, we decided to set the Guinness World Record.”

Schofield noted that while the greeting cards are designed in the Framingham trade office, they are produced in Vietnam, the homeland of Quilling Card founder Huong Nguyen Wolf.

She described Nguyen Wolf as “very dreamy” who has “big ideas”. One of those great ideas was to reproduce a Van Gogh work that people would recognize.

“Within hours, we were now working on two Guinness World Records that we had to complete in eight weeks,” Schofield added.

“Starry Night” was chosen, Schofield said, as a tribute to Nguyen Wolf, who “reached the stars” when she started the business a decade ago from her apartment in Saigon.

Part of what Schofield described as a “mad whirlwind experience” was trying to figure out how to get to the manufacturing plant in Vietnam while pandemic restrictions were in effect.

“Huong originally planned a trip to Vietnam because we hadn’t had a chance to go back in almost three years,” Schofield said. “But at that time, my passport had expired, so I only had eight weeks to get a new one. And besides, Vietnam still wasn’t open for tourism.”

Going to Vietnam had been a dream for Schofield since she joined the company more than five years ago. While travel restrictions were eased at the time, the trip almost didn’t happen due to a visa issue.

“Veronica and I were only able to get our visas printed a few hours before heading to the airport,” she explained.

“But at the end of the day – no pun intended – the stars aligned,” Beretta added.

The pair had to figure out how to design and complete “what was basically a big puzzle,” according to Schofield. There were also several Guinness requirements that needed to be met before the judges arrived in Vietnam on April 8 to judge the work.

A digital replica of “Starry Night” had to be created in order to make the paper strips. There was a “complex numbering system” for the way the pieces, which included 18 colors, were laid out. Each bowler was given a package with specific segments that needed to be precisely created in order to accurately represent the original art.

Each of the 285 pieces took an average of about 12 hours to complete, Beretta said.

This YouTube video shows the bowlers in action.

Quilling Card workers go through “a thorough training process,” Baretta said, which “requires a lot of patience to learn and excel.” It usually takes three to six months to master the “quilling alphabet” and learn how to manipulate paper with tweezers.

“People were thrilled when they could recognize that their individual pieces were part of something larger than life,” she added. “It was truly a team building and community rallying experience.”

Schofield said the company hired a professional team of builders to assemble the final work, which was placed on magnetized tiles. Workers had to climb onto scaffolding to complete it.

“They started at the bottom and worked their way up,” she noted. “As the builder put on that very last piece, the whole factory cheered and cheered. It was such a moving experience.”

Schofield described quilling as a “meditative art”. She noted that teachers are now using fidget toys to calm students with hand movements, which is similar to the calming effect produced by quilling. Going forward, Schofield said she would like to introduce quilling classes to the community.

Area residents recently had the opportunity to see “Starry Night” in person as it was on display between May 18-22 at the Museum Store Association’s national trade conference called MSA Forward 2022 at the Boston Convention. & Exhibition Center.

Beretta’s dream is for the Boston event to be the first in a series of global exhibitions.

“We hope it will become a traveling work of art that can one day travel around the world and be exhibited in museums,” she said.

For those who haven’t been, the “Starry Night” card and other artwork is available for purchase at https://quillingcard.com/.

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