my feathers, pelican feathers

8 Jun

WEEK  TWENTY-TWO – ( june 1-7)

In between other commitments this week I managed to print out more Weldon photos and to make a pile, nay, a beautiful array of feathers.
Starting with the biggest size that I anticipate I’ll need – about 24 inches long – every piece of fabric is rough cut, with or without a ruler. Nothing is measured. I am working by eye.
I proceed slowly, carefully, making small amounts – about five at a time. Continually trying to get the feel of the piece by manipulating the design early.
After about four ’rounds’ I feel confident.

As I went along it was noticeable that the left side of most feathers should be solid black….but not all. The black is needed to frame the prints on the right side of each feather. It’s a bit of negative space designed to push the printed details into subtle focus.

The white quill is working beautifully as a vertical divider of each feather and furthermore it creates a secondary pattern of a small radiating white lines. I’m happy with this.

The occasional solid black piece that breaks up the prints on the right sides also gives a beautiful secondary design.

My first tentative set up is surprisingly and effectively pleasing because of all these elements. You can see how the feathers gained size as the days went on.
There is still a long way to go, many decisions to be made and many interruptions expected!

feather-ingOn Friday it was off to the zoo with both my grandies (and Georges mum thankfully). A lovely long morning that I will certainly repeat with Esther and perhaps even on my own – if I eventually manage to timetable it in.
It would be a treat to sit and draw, to take photos or play with watercolours.
I bought a years ticket (such fantastic value) so I now have to use it….

The photo in my head as I write is of the side/bottom view of two zebras – beautiful animals with beautiful markings – but it was a subtle gray stripe amongst the blacks that got me excited. A quick search, (of zebra bottoms), revealed an amazing selection of zebra patterns….I feel like designing some fabric right now!!!! Alas, no time for this sort of indulgent play.

I chose not to take photos on the day as it was kiddo time but just as we were leaving I snapped a Pelican sunning. I WILL be taking my big camera next time.

pelican adoring self


pelican palm-crown


pelican mirroringOn the reading front, since finishing The Making of Home, it has been a time of catchup….

When my kiddos were born my reading (of books) became scarily non existent.
There was no time during the day and with three kiddos less than than 3 1/2 years apart, nights were a write-off too. Besides, we were often renovating after they went to bed as only the young and energetic can do:)

So I kept my inquisitive mind alive by reading magazines in short spurts of time available.
My luxury was to read top end Interior Design mags and Gourmet food mags with a sprinkling of available Textile & Craft mags.  All chosen simply to match the headspace of  my mind and physical space of my body were.

I’ve kept this love of mags alive till quite recently but slowly increasing the amount of Art mags and reducing others. In the past I’ve had subscriptions and I’d haunt the local Newsagent and buy when travelling – which I did a fair amount of with Stargazey.
Of late I’ve eased back to only a few regulars. A case of boredom from seeing the same old same old? Perhaps simply I am now able to focus on my own development?
Anyway, DUMBO Feather, Embroidery (UK), Selvedge (UK), Dwell (US), Dish (NZ), Artists Profile and the SDA journal are still arriving by ipad or post regularly for now.
I am wading through this bi-monthly/quarterly reading pile influx slowly over a quick cuppa just as I did when my three were my almost total focus.

Jan Mullen

B. Ed. Art/Craft (Textiles/Sculpture) Living in Perth, Western Australia Artist, Fabric Designer, Author, Teacher, Mentor.