“Hello, Mrs. Feather” A conversation with my sister normally starts like this. While I have many nicknames this one is better known and I prefer it… well along with “Heth” and “Heathcliff” (yes Heathcliff Huxtable) It’s no wonder I love feathers, they’re earthy and wonderful and the obvious nod at the endearment.
Christmas in July is slowly or rather quickly coming to an end, but I still have a couple of Christmas goodies up my sleeve and I’m saving the best for last but, today it’s, wait for it…feathers!
Once upon a time, before I had the idea to share with you online my crafts, I fell in love with some Roost Porcelain Feather Ornaments, but I never dreamed I would attempt at recreating them, but I most certainly was not going to buy them… they’re $48 for ornaments! I will splurge on certain things however, feather ornaments are not one of those things! It had been a few days and I had not made anything and when that happens I get antsy and I decided I was going to attempt to recreate those lovely feathers!
I started by rolling out my Sculpey clay to about a 1/4″ thick.
Cut clay in the general shape of a feather.
Roll out a strip of clay about 1/8″ inch round at the thick end and gradually taper it at the other end.
Give your feather the contortions you want and press your “rachis log (the strip you rolled out that might otherwise be referred to as a quill)” onto the feather with the thick end being at the end of the calamus or quill. Blend your newly laid rachis into the feather making sure it is attached to the feather.
You can pull up pictures of real feather or even better if you have feathers pull them out as a guide for making the barbs the feathery part… I’m sorry I got nerdy birdy on you. Use a toothpick to give the feather its striations until you’re satisfied with the look.
If you will be using your feathers as an ornament you will want to have an opening to string some ribbon. I used the cap from a used up eyeliner to make the opening; make sure you are not too close to any of the edges so that the opening isn’t weak.
If you want your feathers to be flat, go ahead and put them on a pan (I like to use parchment paper so my clay items don’t stick) and start your creations out in a cold oven following the guide’s time and temperature for your clay selection. If you want your feather to bend this way or that, you can use something like a jar to support the shape or whatever is appropriate for the look you’re going for…just make sure whatever you use is oven safe.
Let your feathers rest in the oven until it is completely cool. Now you’re ready to string them! Use whatever ribbon or string that suits your purpose and you’re good to go: hang them on a tree, a wall hook or whatever, they’re pretty enough you might not want to save them as Christmas feathers!