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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Making wings


 After viewing many Youtube videos, pondering Pinterest pictures, and browsing websites, I have made the armature for wings for my upcoming art project, and I am VERY proud of myself.

I started by hand drawing wing shapes on a large piece of newsprint, 24 inches long. I was going to buy wire, but by chance J. had a coil of wire in the garage that turned out to be the perfect gauge. I created the wing shapes, following my sketch, and twisted the wire ends together at the top.

Then, thanks to a website (that I cannot retrieve to add the link, as I looked at so many), I had the idea to put chicken wire inside the wire shapes. Off to the hardware store for chicken wire and wire snips.

It worked like a charm! I treated the chicken wire like fabric, rolling it out and cutting it roughly to shape, then snipping the small wires and winding them around the heavier wire frame.

I discovered in my scrap box of bindings that I had metres of narrow cotton muslin bias binding leftover from some project, and it was perfect to wrap the wire frame to cover up all the snagging and poking wire ends from the chicken wire, and to give me something to sew the fabric cover for the wings. I got that idea from my experience of wrapping wire frames when covering lampshades.

Ta da! I think these are already really great, but I will cover with, what? : tulle, organza?

Wire frame wings, with chicken wire filling in the shapes, and edge wires twisted but still snagging on my sweater, my hands, and everything else.

The wire frame wrapped with strips of bias cut muslin.

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