Sunday, May 15, 2016

Design This - Quilled Bird

Most of my Design This series posts showcase requests that I have been commissioned to make or projects I am making for myself. Only one of these posts so far has focused on a custom order I asked someone to make for me. This post also focuses on a custom request I made but the end result would be the focal point of a gift for a friend and not something for myself.

A friend recently opened a brick and mortar store front, The Creativity and Wellness Center, and she was about to get married so I wanted to get something special for her. I had recently seen some beautiful quilled artwork on Etsy that reminded me a bit of the bird that she was using in her branding. This inspired me to see if I could find someone to interpret her bird in quilling that I could attach to a blank plaque that had been waiting for a project.

I searched quilled art on Etsy and found a shop, GeorgianaArtAndStyle, whose work reminded me the most of my friend's bird. I inquired about a custom order of a quilled bird inspired by the image on my friend's website, of a particular size, with the black tail and head feathers navy instead of black and without the legs. The shop owner gave me a quote and I happily purchased my custom listing.

My order showed up in the expected time frame and was beautiful. It even included the heart that hovers over the bird in the image I supplied to the quilling artist. The details were executed in exquisite detail. However, it was larger than the specs I had asked for, so the plaque I had planned to use would not work because it was not large enough. I had to come up with another way to mount the bird.

I had a small log cross section that looked like it might work if I let some of the tail feathers hang off, but after sanding the face of it smooth I decided it also was too small for the lovely piece of quilled art. After hunting around some more I noticed a piece of wood in my scrap pile that turned out to be a good size. I sanded the faces and took off the sharp corners of the edges. I painted it white with dark blue edges. I think this color combination actually worked out much better than the original wood plaque I had planned to use. Now my only problem was that the balance of the bird and heart on this shape block was not quite right. I decided it needed its legs back so I played around with some simple legs that would complement the bird and added a real paint brush for the bird to stand on similar to the bird in the branding image.

If you need something made by a creative person, there is a really good chance you can find someone on Etsy to make it for you. Search for something similar to what you have in your mind's eye and ask the shop owner whose creation most closely matches what you are seeking about a custom commission. Hopefully you will have a successful outcome like I did.

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