HOW TO WRAP FEATHERS

A large part of my design style is inspired by nature, specifically, natural palates that blend seamlessly from one color to the next.  Feathers are a great example of this; grays, browns and blacks that shift in hue so subtly that color feels infinite.  A self-proclaimed bird enthusiast, I've been collecting feathers for years and recently, started incorporating them into necklaces.  Wrapping can be tricky as quills can be brittle, but with a little practice, you too can turn these treasures into wearable talisman.  Here's how it's done.

1)  You'll need a few tools:  needle nose pliers, flat nose pliers and clippers.  Then, depending on what you want to wrap your feather in, gold or silver wire.  I like a basic 16-gauge craft wire, but sterling or gold-fill works too if you want something a touch more fancy.

2)  First, let out approximately two inches of wire from your roll.  In the middle, use your needle nose pliers to make a loop.  Then, cut the wire.  You'll know you did it right if the piece you cut looks like a bird in flight. 

3)  Insert the quill through the loop in the wire.  One end of the wire should run parallel to the spine of the feather, the other perpendicular.  

4)  With your flat nosed pliers, grab the quill and the loop of the wire together.  This will help hold everything steady while you wrap.

5)  Take the perpendicular wire and wrap it around the quill of the feather, as well as wire running parallel to it, three times.  This creates a secure hold that, if applied with moderate tension, will not slip when worn.  Wrapping the wire too tightly might pinch the quill and change the shape of the feather.  This is notably the hardest part of wrapping and could take a few attempts to get right.

6)  Once wrapped, snip the end that runs parallel to the spine, as well as the perpendicular end that you used to wrap the feather.

7)  Sharp clippers should give you a clean cut, but if not, a metal file helps smooth a rough edge.

Feathers can be hung on a necklace, from a rearview mirror or even from mobile.  Use them to make earrings, a dreamcatcher or for any project that needs a special touch.  Enjoy!