I am always finding beautiful feathers during my time in nature. I love them and love how they push me to strengthen my identification skills.
Seeing as how I have collected many feathers over the years, I have been carefully keeping them in a jar or vase tucked away safely on a shelf. No longer content with this hideaway method, I was looking for a way to display the smaller feathers in such a manner that allowed them to “breathe” and be seen properly, as feathers should be seen, in air and light. I started playing around with the collection on my table and thought that they were so beautiful displayed in a “wheel” formation. It occurred to me that I could put them up this way. But how?
I thought they would be lovely as part of a gallery wall of sorts, but I am absolutely committed to not maiming them with glue or punctures…and so I was (temporarily) stumped. As my grandmother brought me up on the saying “Where there’s a will there’s a way”, I certainly wasn’t going to give up on this idea now that it was firmly planted in my head. It occurred to me that sewing a disc of some sort into which their shafts could slip might work. I considered hand made paper as the base, which I do think could work well, (do try this at home) but I ended up going with a small circle of vintage lace.
Here’s round one of exploring the possibility.
I liked the basic concept, but I wasn’t thrilled with the frilly edge as I thought it detracted a bit from the beauty of the feathers, so I cut it off and got to sewing. I cut two discs of soft cardboard the same size as the lace medallion (grey side out), pinned them to the lace with basic sewing straight pins, and used my sewing machine to sew “spokes” of the wheel (all very easy). Then I slipped the feather shafts into the “pockets” and voila, a gorgeous, and respectful, way to display!
I am having so much fun with this that I decided to go ahead with the gallery wall idea. The Feather Wheel is the first component in a “family portrait” wall I am creating in my hallway. The installation is a testament to my love for the natural world, intentionally redefining “family” to include the rest of creation that we humans are lucky to share this glorious planet with.