Tuesday Tips and Tricks!

Spring is in full swing here in Seattle! That means more sun, less rain and that I get to watch a family of sparrows through the window at our offices. These tiny birds always inspire me to make jewelry that’s as light and fluffy as they are! Feather earrings and pendants are fun and quick to put together and with today’s tips you’ll by flying along!

If you’re making earrings or another piece where the feathers match, spread out your selection and pick out the feathers that are most similar. Feathers are a natural product and no two birds are exactly alike, so you won’t be able to find two feathers that are perfectly the same, but that’s part of the appeal of this jewelry!

Our designers have found that cord ends and cord caps are the best findings to use with feathers, but not every quill will fit into your findings. If you find the quill of your feather too large or the wrong shape, it’s time to get out your sharpest, small bladed scissors. I like using thread snips for this because the short blades give me more control over the cuts I make.  Decide how long you want your feathers to be and cut the quill slightly longer than that point. You’ll need clear space on the quill of the feather for your finding. Measure the length of your finding and locate that point on your feather. Hold your feather with the barbs pointing upwards and use a piece of scrap wire to separate the barbs you want to remove. Gently pull these barbs straight down to peel them off of the quill.

Once you’ve exposed the quill, use your scissors to trim the tip of your quill into the ideal shape for your finding. I start by making small vertical cuts and test the quill inside the finding often to make sure I’m not trimming away too much thickness.  Now that your feather is prepared, add a little dab of adhesive to the quill and insert it into your finding. I like to leave a little bit of quill sticking out of the top of your finding so I know it’s in there securely. Then I close my finding and trim off any excess quill.

If you’re interested in more ways to shape feathers, check out this past Tips and Tricks post!

Happy Tuesday! –Gretchen


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