Featherfolio http://www.featherfolio.com Fine Art in Feathers Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:52:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Killing Birds for Ebayhttp://www.featherfolio.com/killing-birds-ebay/ http://www.featherfolio.com/killing-birds-ebay/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 13:52:21 +0000 http://www.featherfolio.com/?p=2481 Someone is killing wild Great Argus Pheasants in SE Asia and selling their feathers on Ebay. It is making me sad as these pheasants are one of my favorite birds. Partly why I use feathers in my art is because they are freely given by birds. These pheasants shed their feathers every year where they […]

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Argus Pheasant wing feathers

Someone is killing wild Great Argus Pheasants in SE Asia and selling their feathers on Ebay. It is making me sad as these pheasants are one of my favorite birds. Partly why I use feathers in my art is because they are freely given by birds. These pheasants shed their feathers every year where they are kept in zoos and private aviaries. I want people to appreciating life through my photography and art, not kill it; and especially not buy feathers from birds that were killed for their feathers.

Can taking pictures of beautiful birds and feathers or making art from them urge someone to buy feathers from birds that were killed for their feathers? I hope not. But it is a thought that bothers me and several wildlife photographers I have spoken to. I did report this auction to Ebay and federal authorities.

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Designing with Feathers Presents a Problem:http://www.featherfolio.com/designing-feathers-presents-problem/ http://www.featherfolio.com/designing-feathers-presents-problem/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 18:15:42 +0000 http://www.featherfolio.com/?p=2458 Feather shapes and sizes are quite limited. How does one arrange a typically large, long and skinny feather into a wider picture? Many of my pieces center on a single cut feather. In order to create a pleasing, unified, creative design that tells a story or conveys a feeling, there has to be more to […]

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Swallow Perch-CloseWEBwm-Feather shapes and sizes are quite limited. How does one arrange a typically large, long and skinny feather into a wider picture? Many of my pieces center on a single cut feather. In order to create a pleasing, unified, creative design that tells a story or conveys a feeling, there has to be more to the design than just the single feather. That is, unless the final picture is long and skinny. I prefer not to do that.

I have placed feathers drifting off a preening bird image to fill the space. Sometimes I add small feathers to balance a picture as with a cut-feather silhouette of a bird singing with feathers coming out of its mouth. Using two or more large cut feathers has sometimes solved the dilemma.

Working feathers into unified designs is all part of a vexing but rewarding process of creation. Sometimes I wish wild birds would grow big wide, wide feathers to make this process easier. But that wouldn’t help the birds very much would it?

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The Feather and the Anthttp://www.featherfolio.com/feather-ant/ http://www.featherfolio.com/feather-ant/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:44:20 +0000 http://www.featherfolio.com/?p=2377 I am not the only one who appreciates a fallen, shed feather that I find on the ground. I came across this ant who came across this feather on a windy day. I am not sure why the ant appreciates the feather, but it does and is able to something about it, a testament to […]

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I am not the only one who appreciates a fallen, shed feather that I find on the ground. I came across this ant who came across this feather on a windy day. I am not sure why the ant appreciates the feather, but it does and is able to something about it, a testament to its strength and the feather’s lightness. Good luck, Ms Ant.

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A Perfect Passionhttp://www.featherfolio.com/perfect-passion/ http://www.featherfolio.com/perfect-passion/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 00:22:29 +0000 http://www.featherfolio.com/?p=2346 I made a humbling discovery that I am not the only one who has a passion for showing off feathers in unsuccessful attempts to enhance already perfect natural beauty.

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I made a humbling discovery that I am not the only one who has a passion for showing off feathers in unsuccessful attempts to enhance already perfect natural beauty.

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Hummersuckerhttp://www.featherfolio.com/hummersucker/ http://www.featherfolio.com/hummersucker/#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 23:31:32 +0000 http://www.featherfolio.com/?p=2338 The red-breasted sapsucker drills neat rows of holes in various trees and feeds on the sap. It maintains the holes so the sap keeps flowing.  Luckily for the Anna’s hummingbird, this sap (which is a tree nectar) is available to slurp when flowers are out of season in the Northwestern USA winter. Both of these […]

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hummingsucker-1WEBwmThe red-breasted sapsucker drills neat rows of holes in various trees and feeds on the sap. It maintains the holes so the sap keeps flowing.  Luckily for the Anna’s hummingbird, this sap (which is a tree nectar) is available to slurp when flowers are out of season in the Northwestern USA winter.

Both of these sap-loving birds show striking splashes of red feathers.  The hummingbird displays metallic red on its throat, and the sapsucker presents a bright red head and breast.

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Jay Sunbatherhttp://www.featherfolio.com/jay-sunbather/ http://www.featherfolio.com/jay-sunbather/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 05:07:04 +0000 http://www.featherfolio.com/?p=2333 Shaking sparkling drops shimmer in the sun. A jay needs its bath just like you and me. A good bath and shaking will loosen dust, dislodge mites, shake off dander, remove loose feathers, de-oil, and clean messes. In a pinch, a dust bath will do. But bathing is just a start. When done with the bath, […]

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JaySunBather-1WEBwmShaking sparkling drops shimmer in the sun. A jay needs its bath just like you and me. A good bath and shaking will loosen dust, dislodge mites, shake off dander, remove loose feathers, de-oil, and clean messes. In a pinch, a dust bath will do. But bathing is just a start. When done with the bath, the jay flies to a safe perch and preens for an hour, finishing for the moment, the never-ending task of keeping its feathers in impeccable shape.

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Owl for One and One for Owlhttp://www.featherfolio.com/owl-one-one-owl/ http://www.featherfolio.com/owl-one-one-owl/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 14:35:39 +0000 http://www.featherfolio.com/?p=2292 I have rediscovered the artist, Charlie Harper. In his art, he reduced the complexity of animal shapes into their essences in geometrical forms.  He also had a fondness for and understanding of the natural world which he captured, often with a sense of humor. Charlie Harper’s piece, Owltercation (in addition to watching three crows chase an owl […]

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I have rediscovered the artist, Charlie Harper. In his art, he reduced the complexity of animal shapes into their essences in geometrical forms.  He also had a fondness for and understanding of the natural world which he captured, often with a sense of humor. Charlie Harper’s piece, Owltercation (in addition to watching three crows chase an owl out of the tall fir tree near where I live) inspired me to design this feather shadowbox I call, Owl for One and One for Owl.   

owltercation  Owl for One and One for Owl

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Peacock Feathers Illegalhttp://www.featherfolio.com/peacock-feathers-illegal/ http://www.featherfolio.com/peacock-feathers-illegal/#comments Fri, 13 Jun 2014 16:29:05 +0000 http://www.featherfolio.com/?p=2275 Like the eagle in the United States, the blue peacock is the national bird of India. It follows then, that like the USA, India also made killing peacocks illegal. In the USA, you cannot have feathers from their national bird. But in India, you can have peacock feathers but only if they are naturally shed. To […]

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Peacock6WEB

Like the eagle in the United States, the blue peacock is the national bird of India. It follows then, that like the USA, India also made killing peacocks illegal. In the USA, you cannot have feathers from their national bird. But in India, you can have peacock feathers but only if they are naturally shed. To find out if a feather is naturally shed or if it was plucked from the skin of a bird, authorities simple place the shaft under a fairly low magnification to examine the base of the shaft. They also use their technology to perform a simple chemical test.

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A very large down featherhttp://www.featherfolio.com/large-feather/ http://www.featherfolio.com/large-feather/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 00:32:02 +0000 http://www.featherfolio.com/?p=2254 The biggest, fluffiest down feathers that I know of grow under the tail of a male peacock. They stick out from the back of the male bird when it is displaying. Since in India where they are from, peacocks don’t have a lot of need to protect against cold, perhaps they use them for display? […]

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The biggest, fluffiest down feathers that I know of grow under the tail of a male peacock. They stick out from the back of the male bird when it is displaying. Since in India where they are from, peacocks don’t have a lot of need to protect against cold, perhaps they use them for display? They are rather prominent, but only from the back-side. So why are they on the rear-end if the business side of the peacock display is the front?

Unlike this down feather built around a long central shaft, the lightest of down has hardly any central shaft at all, just long fluffy barbs coming off a shaft so short that you can barely feel it when you roll the down between your fingers. For their size, these feathers are so light, they come close to defying gravity. Why then are they called “down” when perhaps a more fitting name would be “up” ?

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A bug in the workshttp://www.featherfolio.com/bug-works/ http://www.featherfolio.com/bug-works/#comments Sun, 18 May 2014 22:49:51 +0000 http://www.featherfolio.com/?p=2221 To make the background for this piece, I took apart, flattened, and pasted a big paper wasp nest. It was just finished and framed when I noticed a bug crawling around inside. Apparently, the paper had hid a little beetle living in a fold. The beetle chose to come out an hour after I had […]

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shelter-2 -WEB

To make the background for this piece, I took apart, flattened, and pasted a big paper wasp nest. It was just finished and framed when I noticed a bug crawling around inside. Apparently, the paper had hid a little beetle living in a fold. The beetle chose to come out an hour after I had sealed up the entire piece. So now I have to take it apart, remove the beetle, and freeze the whole thing—which is what I should have done to the wasp nest in the first place like I do to all my feathers.

Feathers have bugs too, which are adapted for living and chewing on them. They have mites. And certain beetles can eat feathers. Fortunately, a few 48-hour, zero degree Fahrenheit chillings kills these tiny creatures, so I have never had a problem as long as the feathers are stored in a sealed place. I have two shadowboxes full of arranged and still perfect feathers that has been around for 25 years.

 

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