This is called having a button and pinning a vest on it. Sort of. As is turns out, one of the key pieces of this post is in a baggie somewhere in my office and I can't find it to show you a picture.
Yes, I have a bag of porcupine quills. "Why?" you ask. Simple. I want to try some Ottawa quillwork. This is not the same thing as quilling, which is a curled paper craft that my buddy Ann likes to do.
In January, I read a book called Ottawa Quillwork on Birchbark put out by the Harbor Springs Historical Society a number of years ago. It was in a friend's private library, and it had pictures of significant quillwork boxes from their collection. It also included instructions on how to do the several techniques.
I found a few pictures of the kind of thing I'm talking about. NOTE: I DID NOT MAKE ANY OF THESE. I just would like to.
The pictures are arranged from simplest technique to more difficult.
Those of you from other places in the world than the USA may be wondering what quills are. They come from this creature, the porcupine.
Each quill has a small barb at the end. If you have a dog that tried to get too friendly or too aggressive with a porcupine, you know what happens next. The barbs stick in skin like a fishhook, and must be removed with pliers.
However, except for the barb, which you can cut off to craft with, the quills are somewhat like a softer version of a feather shaft. That's kind of what they feel like.
Anyway... some day, I hope to at least try a small project using some of these techniques.
|See A Diversity of Wildlife for where a porcupine lives|
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