Birds of all sorts are a bit of an artistic passion. Then there are hawks.
I have no facility to keep a hawk here in the city, no experience and not much in the way of knowledge; but I have loved falconry ever since I was little. I have been lucky enough to go hunting with a Harris and have read many books about or featuring birds. However, when you can’t have a bird of your own, the next logical step is to make one.
The needlefelted peregrine has been the most ambitious project yet; one that has taken a lot of time and required much motivation. It had two sources of inspiration: Jackie Morris majestic book Queen of the Sky and the resident peregrines on Nottingham Trent’s University Building, whom I have been watching for years.
One of the big problems with creating in 3d, especially when you have a poor visual memory (which I do) is being able to find source material in the round. I use the internet extensively for photographic and diagram material but it is 2 dimensional; I have tracked the birds by webcam but this too is 2d. Unfortunately the only other access to the birds is limited to taxidermy.
Here in Notts there is an extensive bird room at Wollaton Hall. The hall was once belonged to the Willoughby family, some of whom played an important role in the the science of natural history. As such the hall still has quite a collection of specimens that are on display. Add to this the gardener turned taxidermist who created the bird displays. As a result there is a major source of 3d material. Including two peregrines.
Having found the whole process of making this bird rather hard, we spent yesterday at the hall, gathering notes and photos to work from. Ir was the boost needed to get me off and running again. So we now have one wing.
Then I have to complete the second wing, before finishing off the final tweaks and mounting the falcon for display. This is work so far: