Sunday, October 10, 2010

My first feather fan

This was a pretty big and complicated piece, for me. I'd never done a fan before, just beaded single feathers. Steve sent me the eagle feathers (with the requisite permit-it's illegal to have eagle feathers in your possession unless one is Native American, and has a permit), and fan handle and told me to go for it. I wanted to make something that reflected, but didn't exactly copy the traditional feather fan. Part of the work, straightening the feathers a bit was definitely a first for me, and was a bit scary, but the methods outlined in David Dean's book worked.

I did some threadwork on the feather shafts, beaded the handle, and decided to do a definitely untraditional motif on the wider part of the fan handle.
I added wild dove feathers to the front, to symbolize peace, and fringe to the bottom of the handle.

I hope this is something he likes, but if not, it can be's only beadwork, after all. :-)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Taos Wool Festival

I went to the Taos Wool Festival for the first time last Sunday. I've been trying to teach myself hand spinning for the past year, and finally found a course near enough and scheduled on a day that I could actually attend, so up to scenic Taos I went. The class was great! Taught by Ruth Northrop of California, it gave me all the hints and tips and tricks I needed to become a good beginning spinner. Next year I'm definitely going to take a more advanced course from her, if she comes back.
Then I spent a bit of time at the actual festival, scoping out the many gorgeous finished pieces, watching hand and spinning wheel spinners, sheep shearers, oogling at the llamas, sheep, angora bunnies, and even a yak!

I bought some 'tops'-wool that has been prepared for spinning, some natural and one dyed and came home to play with my new toys.
I try to spin some every day (not difficult, as it's a soothing and engaging task), and can see that I've got a new craft to keep me occupied, especially on cold winter days.