Over Christmas, I’ve been working on my fire screen project again, so this post is an update following on from the post I published in September.
Obviously, a crucial part of the whole thing is the method of attaching the feathers to the bird. Originally, I was thinking that it needed to be quite sturdy, so I was thinking of asking somebody competent to cut a suitable piece of wood, and drill holes to hold the pieces of dowel that forms the middle of the feather. But that idea works best when the feathers are a nice even shape, with identical width.
Which they aren’t.
So I thought I would see what I can do with fabric. I made two piramid shapes out of felt, to support the back of the bird, and stop it from moving from side to side. The outer side is embroidered, of course, to blend in. Then I cut two semi-circles of calico, and sewed channels in them, to take the dowels. That looked promising, so I attached it to the piramids. Then I cut a felt cover for the dowel holding calico, partly to make it blend in, and partly so that I can sew the lower end of the feathers to the holder, as I cut it larger. The front of this felt cover needed decoration, but I wasn’t sure how much would be visible, and I didn’t want it to get in the way of the structural stitching, which will come later. So I’ve just done some random machine embroidery.
These pictures show the feathers, slotted into the holder, cut to size. As they are not yet sewn in, they are laid out on the living room floor, with the bird slotted in to check the effect. I’m hoping that the fact the bird stayed balanced there for some time without further support is a good omen!
I’m now thinking of making some smaller feathers, with just the upper half visible, to full in the gaps. And I’m also thinking of fixing a horizontal dowel (or two) at the back, to stop the feathers spreading sideways, or twirling in their sockets.
And the prospect of sewing the feathers into the base, and the base onto the bird isn’t particularly appealing. Still, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
But it may take some time…