I have been periodically revisiting this beautiful vintage needlepoint tapestry of wild birds over the past few months, adding my hand beaded embellishment, and searching for the perfect reverse cloth for the cushion. Thankfully the Guy Goodfellow Collection has just launched a new emerald courway of their popular Fez Weave which coordinates perfectly, so at last the cushion is finished!
On my recent Visit to New York, I had a brief chance to look at The National Museum of the American Indian . It’s a kind of American version of the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, but less chaotic. I was struck by two exhibits, one of a pair of neck collar pieces dating to AD500-1525 called Cocle necklaces, from Panama. One is made from fine hammered gold strips, the other seems to be from carved shards of bone or shell. Both give an impresion of extreme lightness and a feathered effect around the form of the necklace.
Further on in my trail around the museum I came upon this californian dance kilt/apron, made from Condor feathers and knotted twine, dating from the 1920’s -40’s. It’s funny how these things stuck in my head, and I ruminated over how I could incorporate the concept of feathers into my home furnishings collection.
And here is the result; I managed to source some rooster feathers and have used them to make a luxurious trim for the latest in my African inspired cushion collection. Combining hand tie-dyed Nigerian cloth, Yoruba beads and weaving and these lovely feathers has resulted in a real piece of luxury to add to the collection.