Draw your falcon. As you are at the very beginning of your project you should be filled with invincibility. That tiny voice in your head trying to remind you that this has never been done before is easily squashed.
Try to make it super difficult. After all, difficult=better.
Therefore, super difficult should=super better.
89 individual feathers is a good start.
Lay them out and sift a darker glass powder over the top. Fuse all of those in the kiln.
This going to be awesome.
Well, you need a whole lot of glass powder to get the color you want on top. Also, it's really difficult to make it even. I know this because I tried it twice.
The solution? Cut the 89 feathers twice more and stack the darker color on top and fuse those together.
Here we take the (3rd set of) feathers that have been cut and fused together and have begun to lay them out on some kiln paper that I have cut to the shape of what I want the finished fused wings to be.
This was supposed to make things easier.
It did not.
Tack fuse (do not full fuse or you'll have to cut those sumsabitches again!) the feathers together so that they stick a little bit and slump a little onto each other.
I may be the best feathercutter ever.
You have succeeded in tack fusing the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Remiges! (if you're going to cut them, you might as well learn what you're cutting).
It is also important to remember that you must handle all glass with care lest gravity remind you.
Re-cut, re-fuse and re-tack the feathers and remember to use both hands when moving around. (whew).
Now prepare your Falcon for three dimensional insanity.
Hooray to handling your glass carefully the second time!
Now (I think) is a good time (maybe) to build up the wings (hopefully) and give them some dimension.
Here I've taken some kiln paper and carefully placed the Primary and Secondary feather group in the proper position to be fused with the Coverts (the top piece).
Also, in thinking about how to attach all of this together, place some cut clear glass under the wing so that (maybe) you can hold everything together with (an assload of) epoxy.
Next time I'm going to make a flat chicken.
Pull your (finally) perfect Falcon wings out of the kiln and wonder what you're going to do next.
Surely there is something ridiculously time consuming (=the bestest) that has a high rate of disaster written all over it.
Oh, I know...
No such thing as as shiny Peregrine Falcon.
They have lots and lots and lots of intricate feathers. Thank God we fused this lighter colored glass underneath the darker top layer!
Now is the time to draw those intricate (#$&%'n) feathers and make a (#$&%'n) transparency of the (#$&%'n) design so you can burn the (#$&%'n) feather picture into a few pieces of photosensitive vinyl (#$&%'n) resist.
Now cut each (#$&%'n) feather out and place it on the corresponding glass (#$&%'n) feather and go stand in front of the (#$&%'n) sandblast cabinet for the rest of the (#$&%'n) evening chewing through the dark layer to the (#$&%'n) lighter layer underneath.
Most of what you will learn while making your Falcon is how to not do stuff. Like, do not make the sandblast resist and try to attach it to each and every feather, sandblast through the top layer of glass and then try to fuse your falcon together because you will lose all of the detail you tried to get .
This will make you question everything.
Are we meant to experience joy?
How stupid can one man be?
So this is where humility comes from.
Now is also the time to cut and fuse together about 17 different heads because trying to get the face right will make you want to see if your fused glass Falcon can really fly.
This one did.
Gin and Tonics make fantastic work therapy.
So, here is what you had before, only better because you are the best feathercutter of all time.
There are 4 separate pieces that need to be sandblasted with the intricate little feather design that your brilliant little mind thought would be such a good idea.
Thank God you're able to work way into the night since you've become such an asshole at home that nobody wants you there.
These 4 pieces are supposed (fingers crossed) to be held together with some fancy bending of wire. We'll thread the ends of the wire so we can bolt it into the super intricate big ass box I've neglected to show you.
I bet (#$&%'n) Peregrine Falcons taste like chicken.
As the (#$&%'n) Peregrine Falcon is the focal point of your artwork, it is important to make sure that the face makes people say, "Ooooh, look at that #$&%'n thing!" instead of "Aaaah, what is that #$&%'n thing?".
It's a surprisingly subtle difference.
I fused many heads together and tried to sandblast in the details (eyes, beak, little #$&%'n beak nostrils, shadows...you know, #$&%'n bird face stuff).
This was head #7.
Contrary to heads 1-4 where I tried to put the color in after I sandblasted the heads and tried to fuse it all together one last #$&%'n time, I found it best to sandwich the color between the base layer and top layer and sandblast through the top layer to the color beneath. (confused yet?)
Once I got pretty darn close to what I was looking for, I zoomed in on this shot to highlight the paper towel lint I left on it's forehead.
You are now ready to mount your (#$&%'n) Falcon
I know, I know. Phrasing.
Make a big ass three dimensional lightbox from some plywood, fused glass, wood and copper veneer that will hang on a wall. Try to give it that "Appalachian Mountain" feel.
Don't #$&% up! Many, many hours of your life have been spent making your #$&%'n Falcon beautiful and you don't want it stuck to a piece of $#!&.
Now take your fancy lightbox and drill some holes in it.
MAKE SURE YOU DON'T #$&% THAT UP!!
If you did, go grab yourself something to drink- and nothing top shelf! You don't deserve the good stuff.
If you didn't, great! Now take your epoxied, brass rod held together (#$&%'n) fused glass Falcon and with great (#$&%'n) care, place the brass rods through your perfectly spaced holes and tighten until snug. NOT TOO TIGHT!
Now pick up your 700 pound piece of furniture that you've created and stick it onto the wall and plug it in.
You just made a Mutha#$&%'n Falcon flying over the mutha#$&%'n mountains through the mutha#$&%'n clouds!
I'm never doing this again.
No more steppin'.
I was concerned that this piece would look like a piece that you might find in a Chinese take out restaurant. (even though I think they usually focus on dolphins)...and the Falcon's head reminds me a little of Curly from the Three Stooges but, whaddya gonna do?
My family has allowed me to come back home and apologies have been made (by me).
Thanks for reading all of the words (I hear that's difficult for the kids of today) and for your support.
Let's see what we can make a mess out of this time.
Not a #$&%'n bird.
Maybe just a regular ol' window.
Know someone that can relate or use a giggle at my expense? Let 'em know about this little corner of the internet.