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Old 05-03-2005, 10:01 AM   #1
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Base feathers for fans

I'd love to learn how to make those gorgeous fans with the quills wrapped in colorful, trimmed fluffs. I can make the kind with secondary feathers layered over the base of all the feathers together, but what I'd like to do now is build a fan with each individual quill extended, wrapped, and feathered. Can anyone give me any tips? Please help me with pointers (or better yet, a TUTORIAL)!!!!!!!

here's a pic of what I want to do:
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Last edited by walela49; 05-03-2005 at 05:56 PM..
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:58 PM   #2
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I think there are a couple threads in the archives with tips and hints. Might also try dropping Mr. Bojangles or powwowbum49 a pm with specific questions. There are also a few others just not coming to mind.
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:06 PM   #3
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Yup.. bum taught me how to do it over the phone one day... but read the threads.. there are a couple and they are highly informative
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Old 05-04-2005, 03:55 PM   #4
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if you know where those old threads are, could you link me to em...I've got dial-up, and oh man, my connection is sllllllloooowwwww. I started looking through the archives, but got bored with my pokey connection!!!! LOL
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Old 05-06-2005, 10:13 AM   #5
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ok. i searched the archives again and I'm not finding what i need, so lemme make myself clearer....i DON'T need to know how to CONSTRUCT a fan...i can do that...i only want help on how to attach base feathers to each quill...do you glue em...what with?...do you trim em...how?...which kind of fluffs work best for this?...please help me out here!...I don't want to ruin good tail feathers cuz i glued a bunch of junk on em!!!!

pretty please...help??????
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Old 05-06-2005, 10:11 PM   #6
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is that all you are going to do to them? if so, yeah glue them and then wrap leather around it.
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Old 05-06-2005, 11:15 PM   #7
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I've wrapped feathers with colored thread before (on top of leather)...I just don't know if you glue the colored base feathers straight against the quill or on top of the leather?????
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Old 05-07-2005, 12:58 AM   #8
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Florettes work better than T-flats in my opinion. They are softer and more flexible. Lady Amherest neck feathers and hackles are used for accents too.

Don't glue the colored feathers to the leather, the dye will run. I use a water based glue so if it goes wrong I can disolve off the glue. Some folks use superglue and some use contact cement. Be careful and wear safety glasses if you use either of those. Both can be gotten off the quill or extenders with some careful work with a knife. Don't use acetone as it can damage feathers. Nothing seems to take glue off the barbs of the feather. With care you can keep from getting glue on the barbs.

When I do this, I use an extender, so that the shaft sizes are the same. If I am flaring the florettes out over the base of the feather, I use a bit of paper to support the flare.

Yes, the florettes are trimed to get them to the right length. I don't trim the top, because I like the softer look of the natural ends. The bits to be glued are trianglar, if this makes sense. Sometimes it helps to crimp the shaft a bit on the florrets to make them lay flat. After the glue dries you can trim things up evenly.

I cover the transition from the leather to florettes with a wrap of rabbit fur. If you're not going to use it, you will need to make sure you don't get glue leaking through. Contact cement and superglue are more resistant to wetting, but are very hard to remove if you make a mistake.

Really fine point tweezers are very helpful. As is a small exacto knife.

Now, what I want to learn to do is the raised thread work. But, I think you need an arbor for wraping fishing rods to do that.
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Old 05-07-2005, 01:08 AM   #9
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thank you, thank you, thank you...this is what I needed!!
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Old 05-19-2005, 03:37 AM   #10
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Well, I can't add much to what OLChemist had to say on the subject...just maybe that I like to use fast drying tacky glue for shingling. I can say that i have seen Chemists fan and it turned out top notch. Here are a few sets of scalp feathers I have been working on with shingling though. The third set is done with colored deer hair rather than feathers.
Attached Thumbnails
scalp-feathers-2.jpg   scalp-feathers-3.jpg   scalp-feathers-4.jpg  
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:31 AM   #11
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very nice work...deer hair huh? I'll have to try that...that might be more along the "tailored" look I'm going for!
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:49 PM   #12
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....ahh....featherwork.

Just got done with some for a friend in Texas...course, it tookme three years to deliver it!!! HAHAHHA!!!

...he was happy.

Go with the Florets...Florals.....they usually go by either of those two names. Available just about everywhere now.

It's an old style of featherwork.....you see it in old fans from Oklahoma....then it sorta just didn't do much there. Then we got ahold of it and now sorta seems like we're the folks to come to when it comes to this type of work.

I mean, the vast majority of some of this countries premier fan makers, particularly the peyote type....with floral work. Are Navajo.

Anyway....

I snip the quill about an inch and a half down from the tip. Remember to really look at your florals before you buy em, go for ones with even looking tips. Sometimes you might end up with some that are rather scraggly looking, or look like they'd been sat on for a few months. Sure, they'll work for other things, but, you want something that lays flat when you work with them.

I simply snip the quill, don't cut straight across the feather, just take some really fine pointed scissors, and snip the quill an inch and a half down from the tip....discard or save the bases for other projects if you like.

I usually use them for other types of featherwork, or for feather rosettes when I'm backing beaded rosettes for my straight dance stuff.

Anyway.

I use Elmer's School Glue. Sounds funny, absurd and like it won't last. But, I can assure you, it's used by MANY of the best featherworkers and fan makers out here. I know Patrick Scott uses it in his featherwork.

I'll typically do like I learned from Patrick. Apply one color at the base, after I've glued in the extender. Apply one color, you'll notice a V shape to the floral after you've snipped the quill. Apply a small amount of glue to the extender about where you want to put the floral....not too much, I usually use a bamboo skewer to apply the drop of Elmers, then skim it all around the extender. Then lay my first Floral down, holding the little tip at the bottom to the extender with my thumb, then using the skewer, will "roll" the edges of the Floral around to the back.

You should get a sort of flattened look, with a slight curve as you view it from the side. I wish I had pics of all of this......I'll have to do that one of these evenings. This first floral is important, it will dictate the shape of the rest of the florals, so, take your time and get it right, don't be afraid to peel it off and start all over.

Some folks trim the tops of their florals, I personally do not subscribe to that method. I feel it increases your chances of the barbs splitting on you later on, but, if you do it right.....it shouldn't do that.

Let that first one dry...then do the other feathers in the same fashion. By the time you get that first row down, you should be able to go back to the first one you did, it should be dry by now. Give it plenty of time to properly dry.....THOROUGHLY. Even if it takes 30 minutes. I sometimes set mine in a styrofoam block in front of a fan to dry quicker. Anyway. Come back to the first one you did, apply a SECOND floral, same color, right over that first one you put down. This is the only time you use two florals thru the entire process. Least....this is my method, as I learned it from Patrick Scott.

Use more if you like....or not. It's all personal preference.

Just remember, more you add, the more bulk you get.

Anyway, same thing, dab of glue on skewer, apply to previous floral....just don't go all the way to the top of it, go about half way or so up the first floral. Then lay your second floral down, same color, and then just roll the thing around to the back.

Let that dry completely. Then, you're ready to shingle.

From here on out, you don't have to stop to let them dry fully, you can layer all the way down with no worries. If you apply too much glue, it will get messy, and you may have to start all over again...so, be careful with your glue....use JUST ENOUGH.

Anyway. This is the method I use, as I learned it from Patrick Scott. Other fan makers/featherworkers have their own tricks and techniques.....you find what works best for you.

Trim feathers, like those in the attached photo are simply pheasant neck feathers, slicked up with water, then with Elmers, allowed to dry, then sometimes coated with a thin application of quick drying super glue to give it some body and shine....sometimes, it'll almost have a glassy, smooth appearance. I know one guy, actually, a couple who use nail polish......I've tried it, only to find it tends to yellow over time, and it cracks out fast, then it peels and your trim feathers go with it.....cracked out and peeling off.

I usually finish my bottom feathers with a coat of super glue, just around the base, I don't coat the entire floral, this is just to hold things in place until I get the threadwork in place, or cover with leather.

Hope that helps.

I heard Patrick was going to be putting out a series of videos showing HOW TO...I haven't heard much more, I should email him and ask him.

Here's his site.

www.ceremonialart.biz

Also check out

www.nac-art.com
Attached Thumbnails
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Last edited by Mr Bo Jangles; 05-19-2005 at 12:58 PM..
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Old 05-19-2005, 05:28 PM   #13
the legal plumes lady!
 
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ooooooooohhhhhhhhhh mannnnnnnn! this is WONDERFUL! Thanks for sharing...and very nice pic!
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