Saturday, December 3, 2011

Playtime! Eagle Feather Cane

Today was play day! After all of the Thanksgiving holiday hustle and bustle, I was just bursting to make a cane I'd had in mind for weeks. An Eagle feather cane.

I do not do a lot of caning but this cane would have a two fold application.

1. One half of the cane would be used to mold feathers.

2. One half of the cane would have details added to make a stylized feather that would not require molding for the details. This detailed Eagle Feather cane technique will be the base of my newest class.

Shown upper right is the initial cane. It is a Skinner blend of four colors. It has no veins or details at this point. This large cane was next cut in half dividing it into two pieces of the same shape.

One half of the initial cane was reduced to a small feather shape. From the small feather shape cane slices were cut about the thickness of a tooth pick. See A Right.

The slices were pressed into the small feather opening in Best Flexible Mold PJ006 Thunderbird Medium. See B. Right.

The end of the feather with the vein was over-filled and 'clubbed' after de-molding to make a thickened end in which a hole could be pierced before baking.

The baked feathers were dropped into cold water after baking and allowed to cool. After cooling and drying the jump rings were threaded through the holes and closed in preparation for threading onto a bracelet or neck cord. These molded Eagle feathers were created for the members of my TOPS group as awards.

To see the 'clubbed' end, see the topmost feather in the pic to the left. It shows the back of a molded feather.

Detailed Eagle Feather Cane

Shown right is the secondary cane created using the initial Skinner blend design.

Thin, partial angled veins were added.

Then a long center vein was added for realism. This cane is not designed for use with a mold but as stand-alone design.

After the cane was completed it was reduced. The ends were reduced slightly and the center was reduced more. By tapering the reduction to the center, feathers of many different sizes can be cut from one cane.

Left is a photo of eagle feather slices cut from the secondary cane. They are about 1 3/4 inches long.

Eye pins were inserted into the top and down the center vein before the feathers were put on a satin textured ceramic tile. By holding the feathers on the vein, you can guide the eye pin through the feather and prevent the end of the eye pin from going through the feather instead of along the vein.

After placing the feathers with eye pins onto the tile the edges were pressed down onto the tile creating a slight 'doming' of the feather. Natural feathers have a subtle 'domed' curve on the front of them.

The feathers were baked and allowed to cool in the oven. After cooling, the eye pins were removed and glued in with Cyanoacrylate glue.

The feathers were strung with a silver metal bead, coral and black glass beads and strung onto an eye pin. The excess was formed into a second eye pin on the other end and linked to hypoallergenic ear wires to make a simple pair of Eagle feather earrings.

Here's hoping that you have recently had a play day too!

Penni Jo

BTW, you can purchase the mold shown above PJ006 Thunderbird Medium along with about 50 other molds here at Best Flexible Molds.


Janie said...

That is an awesome feather cane!

Ellie AKA Claylady43 said...

Thank you so very much Janie!