The Bird Which Appeared in My Studio

Made by Lisa Anne

“Flow” is (apparently!) my take on…muppetry? LOL

A base of paper mache clay and skills learned through Jonni’s great website was a start, but then I went all crazy and added feathers.

Note: working with this many feathers is not an ideal task for the impatient or easily-annoyed artist! To make it a bit easier (in a way), I took the assortment of loose rainbow-colored feathers and first glued them (‘stem end’) in to double wide binding tape. I should have taken a picture for you…

I opened the binding tape and added a few inches of glue at a time and added the ‘stems’ of the feather. Once I had about a 2-foot stretch done, I added glue to the ‘top’ strip of the binding tape, folded it down to cover the stems, then weighed it down with books while it dried. Remember a layer of plastic underneath and above the binding tape, as the glue will soak through and you don’t want to ruin your books!

I made several strips of feathers (of varying sizes) and then started covering Flow, from tail to head so the feathers would overlap nicely, cutting off appropriate sized strips and gluing them with hot glue to the body at an angle. For the neck, I wrapped a couple strips of shorter feathers around it at an angle, from bottom to top.

Then I used loose feathers to fill in gaps and such.

Working with feathers can be a pain, but I’m glad I did it on this one, as it turned out so fun and lively-looking! I can use a keyboard-style mini vacuum to dust it as needed.

The legs and its head colors were created by applying acrylic paint skins I had previously made over the years and had leftover scraps of, and its eyes are glass with sparkly fingernail polish layers painted on the back so the color shines through all pretty (and yes, all paint and acrylic skins were applied before the feathers!). The legs are rebar, as I knew they’d be too long and spindly for support if I tried using anything else.

She/he is standing in front of an acrylic painting of feathers I made concurrently…which is, I find, a great way to feel like I’m still working on the same project but have to wait for drying time at different points in the sculpture-making process!

I’m looking forward to my next projects
So. Many. To. Do.


Thanks, Jonni and all of you creative artists here – you are ALL an inspiring bunch!!

9 thoughts on “The Bird Which Appeared in My Studio”

  1. I love these critters with really long legs, and the placement in front of your painting makes it look like your bird is part peacock. Such a fun project!

    • Thanks! I had started the painting not really intending for the two to go together. I wasn’t sure what colors to do the painting or the bird in, but once I started one, the other came along concurrently….

      In this case, “which came first, the bird or the feathers?”

  2. I’m in love with this bird! Trying to figure out if I can offer this as a scaled down simplified project for a fine arts class for children that I teach each summer.

        • Feel free to use your inspiration from Flow to direct your own creations. There is no way you’ll end up with exactly the same critter!!

          If you do create something with your class, I hope you’ll post it on Jonni’s site here!

          I’m thinking I might like to do critter building classes someday, but it’ll take some time to figure out a way to do that, what with the time (and drying time!) involved


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