Artist Billie Wills has created silhouettes of people for more than 25 years, but currently her canine silhouettes are generating a buzz. Wills, who earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Richmond Professional Institute and a master's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, designed four limited-edition melamine plates, each displaying the silhouette of a different dog breed.
Quirk Gallery is partly responsible for the paper-to-plate transition of Wills' silhouettes. "Many of our dog lovers at Quirk were interested in having silhouettes done of their pets. It occurred to us that Billie's silhouettes would make wonderful tableware," Quirk's co-owner Katie Ukrop says. Thus Wills' dog plates came to be.
One high-profile canine to be immortalized is cairn terrier Rob Roy, owned by Richmond philanthropists Pam and Richard S. Reynolds III.
"My claim to fame is my visual memory," Wills says. "I don't dwell on the drawing. The actual likeness is gleaned from the cutting."