The Making of “The Bird”

If you have been in the shop this summer, you would have seen “the bird.” I wanted to do a world travel theme with a little vintage flair and bold colors. What better way to capture that than a mythical bird right? Right. I thought you might get a kick out of seeing the process. The real pheasants above were my inspiration. Aren’t they gorgeous?

I talked Calvin into helping me build the tree. (I think he had fun) We used flexible water pipes, an old curtain rod to keep the pipes from curling and for added stability. We also added chicken wire, lots of packing paper, and tape. Once we had the basic form, we smoothed everything out with a type of papier-mâché. It is a mixture of wood glue, water and blue shop towels. This was a little excessive since it was an indoor display. But it is what I had on hand. The bird’s form was built in a similar fashion. The feet are made from floral wire.

The feathers were made from heavy weight crepe paper. If you don’t know what crepe paper is, it is basically a very stretchy streamer. I added some thin wire to the underside of the long tail feathers so I could position them how I wanted and painted the stripes with craft paint.

The beak and tree were painted with some leftover wall and craft paint. Because we used pipe to build the tree, it was easy to slide artificial branches in the holes, secure with hot glue and cover the transition with a little paint. To finish it off, I attached some floral foam to the base and stuck some artificial plants and flowers in it.

Once the season was over, this not-so-little birdie found a home at a friend’s house.

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