Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Small Angel Wings: Faux Feathers
I've switched to using completely different materials and methods for making my faux feathers. For months now I've been experimenting with different means of achieving a compound curve in each feather, blacker black, and detailed texture so that the fake feathers will match the turkey feathers perfectly. I couldn't stand having such a disconnect between the real and fake feathers. For a while it seemed my only option was to make wings with only fake feathers which would mean a lot more hours of work on each piece.
BUT, I believe I've found the solution. I've switched from fabric to foam. It is a well known fact among wing makers online that good faux feathers are made by laminated layers of fabric with an adhesive. Usually these feathers are made with light weight fabrics and have some sort of shaft sandwiched between the layers. This works to produces great feathers, but it is very time consuming, somewhat costly, and there is always the problem of trying to get a true black.
I now use foam. I've found a way to mold the foam quickly so that I can have the feathers curve like the turkey quills. I've devised a means of adding texture quickly and inexpensively. I've also developed a means of stiffening the feathers so they hold the curve permanently after I've shaped them. They also take paint much better than fabric which means I can achieve a true deep black. The only thing that is not so simple is attaching shafts - I'm still working on this part but may have come up with a solution. As it is - structural shafts (as opposed to painted) are entirely unnecessary for wings that do not open or close.
That's all I can say for now. As far as I can tell, no one else is really doing this, so for now my method is a trade secret.