Quilled Gothic Blackened Heart | Dark Heart

A few years ago, during the time I was running Contemporary Quilling, I made friends with a woman from the group and then promoted her to be one of my moderators. I was immediately drawn to her and fell quickly into “friendship.” I know that sounds strange, but I feel like friendships are very similar to actual relationships in that they elicit many of the same feelings. In this case, the sense of comfort and excitement when she sent messages. The desire to talk for hours on end about life in general. To commiserate and gossip. I thought a lot of her and was absolutely crushed when things went awry overnight and without any conversation or resolution. I have never been ghosted by someone until that day and boy oh boy did it hurt.

What really bothered me in the end was that the same week she decided I was garbage to be thrown away, I had decided to surprise her by sending her two of my most prized pieces of artwork. All the way to Australia, I might add.

While I beamed with excitement and anticipation over the surprise she was about to receive, and merely a day or two before my gift arrived, she terminated our friendship abruptly. That was not the surprise I’d had in mind. I cried for days. It was something that I decided I wouldn’t be going through again. No more friends. At least not ones I allow myself to care too deeply about.

The sorrow and grief of that whole debacle prompted the creation of my Dark Heart of Friendship Piece. I felt like the loss of that friendship and being ghosted (among other things) had blackened my heart. Hence the black heart and the black tendrils of “spurting” blood. The red roses a reminder of all the thorns surrounding my heart. Pricking it, poking it, and tearing it apart.

I’m not sure why these pictures are so horrible, but they will have to do for now. I plan to go through my photo files soon and update this post with the “good” pictures I took. These don’t really do the piece justic.

Quilled Gothic Blackened Heart


I wouldn’t exactly call this “quilled.” It’s more just straight paper art made “with” some quilling strips. The entire piece is 8″ x 10″ and sits up off the paper probably close to 2″. It’s really deep. The aorta and other major arteries were made by wrapping 1/4″ strips around a marker and then bending them to get the “elbows.” The vena cava is made with a single piece of black construction paper rolled into a tube.

Quilled Gothic Blackened Heart

The heart was really tricky… I built a scaffolding of On Edge carstock in the rough shape and then stacked sections to create depth. Then I set 1/4″ strips down on top of it, slightly overlapping to made the surface of the heart. It’s very difficult to explain.

I used beehive to create the right atrium. I cut gray paper into little waves to simulate the fatty deposits around the coronary arteries. I created those same arteries with the spiral tube technique. And finally, I inserted 1/8″ black strips “artfully” to simulate blood spurting from cut arteries and veins.

The final component were the red roses. I made these from a gorgeous handmade red paper I found at a local art shop. The paper was either a leftover from the Dark Tower piece I made as a tribute to Stephen King or I used the leftovers for that piece. I can’t remember now as it’s been so long.

If you love this piece, I have an 8″ x 10″ art print available on my Etsy shop. If you’d like a larger print, I can do that too – but by special order only.

8x10 Dark Heart Art Print
8×10 Dark Heart Art Print
[etsy-shop shop_name=”QuantumArtistic” section_id=”21463144″]

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