Bowerbird and Bird of Paradise get going

A little blog problem during the last week hopefully now resolved. Apparently WordPress blogs suddenly took against Internet Explorer as a browser, so now I’m chromed in Google. This means my 1 and 1 website e-mail won’t function as well as I’d like; it likes Internet Explorer and Firefox, and the change also led to my bank blocking me from internet banking. And I was working so diligently towards a simpler life. You know when we were married 34 years ago we had so few possessions in our cheap [lucky us, not like now] empty house, and a tiny hired telly as we couldn’t afford to buy one, but  we managed to survive the lack of technology and ornaments, astonishingly. Thing is, I do love it, [computers, digital this and that, etc]  mostly when it works though. And although all that makes me sound ancient, I’m not!

The Bowerbird pages in the Stone Bird book were difficult, as the structures they build are amazing and quite beautiful, but it’s difficult to recreate that rare beauty as a human, which, I feel, is probably quite right.  I’ve  been trying to interpret  a bower, and these are the early stages. It’s not that far from the way it will be, give or take some stitches, as I have found that whilst the Vogelkop Bowerbird does complex with great elegance, I can only manage too little elegance with much simplification.

This is my first idea layout. I thought about using waste wrappers etc as the birds do collect our waste as well as natural materials.

And below is what I settled on, keeping it simple.

It’s machine stitched, there’s hand stitching to do, and there is the small brown Bowerbird too, not in this picture. He will be on the opposite page with his text.

Here’s a close up. I’ve used the words of the text as ‘saplings’.

I was dreading doing the Bird of Paradise. I knew the one I wanted to use, and eventually found some images. It was complicated and working in silk was new to me; it was bondawebbed down but loves to fray. I hate fraying when I want a crisp image. Anyway here are a few images of his early stages.

The pattern from my drawing laid down on some lutradur I painted with acrylic inks. It’s A2 size.

Pattern pieces on some silk.

Much cutting and fiddling later, here he is, mid-flight, but not quite all there.

All there and machine stitched too. Hand stitch will be added for detail and texture. Off to the studio again tomorrow to continue with the ‘flying’ pages, then there’s about 4 more sets of pages to do. After that it’s much binding, which sounds like a place from Midsomer Murders.