Feather Work 7 - Finch & Parrot-9 1/2"x12 1/2"
Feather Work 8 - Duck-9 3/4"x12 3/4"
Feather Work 9- Duck -9 3/4"x12 3/4"
Feather Work 10 - Blue Jay 11 1/2"x14 1/2"
Feather Work - Guinea Fowl - 7"x8"
Feather Work - Raven- 6"x8"
All of the feathers used for these tapestries were found and collected one by one on morning walks by the artist over the last decades and are frozen, thawed and frozen again several times. They are then thoroughly brushed to remove any debris and put into jars separated by size and color.
Historically one slow meticulous method of attaching the feathers to cloth was by stringing them first on cords by a series of knots and then the cords were sewn onto the fabric. This technique is used on all of the feather weavings presented here. The format for each work is a specific reference to Andean tunics and an effort to present a relationship to the actual bird in both color and pattern in the weaving of the tapestry. Each is woven in a 4-selvedge structure using handspun wool warp, alpaca and wool wefts, and linen cord for feather attachment.
Historical footnote: Feathers were an important part of social status among the early Andean cultures and were used on clothing, bags, hats and ceremonial panels. Birds were cultivated for their plumage and even tapirage was practiced, which is a method of plucking a feather, rubbing the area with a particular element (i.e. poison of a frog), and when the feather grows back it is a desired color different from the bird’s natural hue. Interestingly there are stories from Inca times (c. 15th century) which suggest that boys were given the job of netting the birds, taking a certain number of feathers and then releasing the birds to be used again when the feathers had re-grown.