Illusion and Realism Work Hand in Hand
Leather Feather Creation Process
After much time and dedication these beautiful realistic looking leather feathers are ready to find their new homes.
I was blessed in the fall of 1995 to have the master leather crafter, Paul Burnett, teach me the process he had perfected enabling me to carry on his heritage as he is no longer with us. It was also a blessing because I can now assist his wife, Karen, in continuing the Painting Cow Business.
Open – How I make the leather feathers. Close for less
1 – 2.
I purchase the impressions from the person who developed this process and taught me to make the leather feathers. First I cut out the stamped impressions with special scissors.
Next, I skive the impression with a skift–a curved tool that holds a razor blade on the back side. It is used to bevel the edges paper thin while leaving the center thicker giving the finished feather a very natural look.
I tool the back of the impressions to create the effect of barbs. Using an Exacto knife, I cut the fluffs and between the barbs.
The impressions are now prepared and ready to paint the fronts and backs. The basic pattern is painted and then it is painted in layers upon layers of thick and thin paint. The many layers of paint is what helps to give the realistic appearance to my feathers.
It takes 26 steps, front and back, to paint the Blue Jay Scapular and the Blue Jay Tail feather.
The painted Blue Jay Scapular Feather is ready to shape. It’s now ready for the findings to be put on each item, and put on a card. It takes seven steps for me to make the quill caps, and six steps for me to make the French ear wires. The pin backs I use are nickel silver and the nickel silver one piece French barrette backs are made in France.
Finished Blue Jay Scapular Feather pin. As with the Blue Jay Scapular feather, each of the different feathers are painted with layers upon layers of different colors and consistencies of paint, front and back, to create the illusion of a real feather.
Finally, the labels are put on the front of the handmade jewelry cards and the code are put on the back of the cards. Holes or slits are made in the cards, the jewelry item put on the cards, and then the final step of attaching the Sunshine cleaning cloth to the back of the items that have Sterling Silver findings. My hand made Sterling Silver finding are not coated and will tarnish so I provide a cleaning cloth.
Caution: If you use rubbing alcohol to sterilize the earring wires, DO NOT get any on the painted feather as rubbing alcohol removes acrylic paint.