Feather Book

Close up image showing the feather book open and laying on my work table. The middle page is displayed with a stag, some leaf die cuts.
Close up image of my Feather Book showing the gel prints, die cuts, and stenciling.

Recently, I was blessed to take a road trip to Pawhuska OK, where I met a few art friends for an art filled weekend getaway. We stayed in a lovely B&B just across from the Osage nation university campus. On the campus, they have a stunning feather and fountain statue that pays tribute to their fallen veterans. The feather statue really captured my heart and admiration, and that’s what gave me the inspiration to create this feather book. While we were in Pawhuska, we visited and ate at the Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile, a wonderful emporium of gifts, homewares, a restaurant, and bakery. Needless to say, a few purchases were made. Each of us saved our shopping bags, in my case, a brown paper bag, which I used as the substrate for this project.

The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

I cut the bag up and created some gel prints using my 6” x 6” Gel Press plate for the pages and backgrounds. I chose stencils of birds, feathers, and butterflies for the backgrounds, TCW185 Birds stencil, TCW713 Birds on Branches stencil, TCW716 Feathers stencil, and TCW934 Sunny Butterfly stencil. Using a make-up brush and ink pad, I stenciled the ink in small circular motions through the stencils onto the backgrounds. I really like this technique because I find ink easier to control than paint when stenciling. I also find that the brush gives me the option of making some edges crisp, and others less defined and more ethereal. Here are some close up photos of the stenciled pages so you can see my stenciling in more detail.

I took the gel printed stenciled pages and attached them back to back to form double-sided pages that are 6” square. I then folded those pages in half diagonally, to form folded triangles. I laid these triangle pages one inside another, staggering them, and then hand sewed the pages into one large signature (containing 20 half pages) using beading thread and a needle.

I also left a long tail of thread off the spine to create an embellishment in the form of real turquoise beads interspersed with glass and wood beads, reflecting the Osage Nation’s influence upon my work. Using scissors, I then cut the folded pages into a feather shape, which when opened, looks like a leaf shape, which is a nod to the beautiful bed & breakfast we stayed in that was surrounded by trees, deer, birds, and flowers.

Composite image containing four images showing details of the beaded embellishment, spine of the book, and staggered feather pages.
Close up images showing the beaded spine embellishment and staggered pages.

During our weekend stay, we made a lot of gel plate prints using the entire range of ColorSparx powders with acrylic paints. I decided to die cut a lot of my gel plate prints into elements to fill my feather book. I used our TCW9007 Clear Gesso to attach these elements into my book.

To finish, I outlined the elements with uni-ball signo acrylic paint gel pens. I’m including some images of the finished book and close ups so that you can see it in better detail.

I really hope that my post has inspired you to make your own memory book using our stencils and products. Thank you for reading my post today; I’d love to know what you think of my project and I’d really love to see what you make too!

If you’d like to watch a super quick fly-by video (1:04 min) of this process, please hop on over to my YouTube Channel @TealHareCreations.

Michaela Butterworth
The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member

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2 thoughts on “Feather Book

  1. I think this is some of the finest mixed media art I’ve seen in a very long time. Very original out of the box ideas! Bravo Michaela 🙂

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