Good morning everyone.
I realise that this particular trophy display project is a little weird, with its' defining characteristic being that it's very, very small, which is the opposite of the general desired effect. However, as with the rest of my desultory trophy collection, the point of this is to encapsulate memories of a story. In this particular case, I wanted to do something with the five pairs of pin feathers that I collected from the five woodcock that I shot in Kent and Sussex between November 2007 and January 2012. These were woods that the KWCA had roughshooting leases on, but were subsequently lost. Still, I had some great times there while it lasted. To date, these are the only woodcock I've ever shot, and since access to those woods is gone, they belong to a single chapter of my hunting adventures.
The pin feathers had been kept in a tiny old jewellery box waiting for the day when I'd work out what to do with them. Last summer, I finally bought some materials, which then sat around, and yesterday afternoon I found myself with an opportunity to have a go at this.
I started taking my old fly-tying kit out of mothballs where it had been for a decade. I do so little fly-fishing now that I just haven't needed to replace any flies much unfortunately, but it was good to see that I can remember how to do this (yet another consequence of a misunderstanding of what adolescence is for...) and that the hands are still as steady! After a bit of experimenting with tweezers and those little spring-loaded clamp things that have a name that I've forgotten, I worked out how to tie the feathers into pairs. This really brings into focus the fact that all the patterns are unique.
IMAG0670 by pinemarten, on Flickr
Then I tried to trace and reproduce part of this photograph in pencil onto cartridge paper to use as a centrepiece:
It became clear that this isn't going to work, that's a level of artistry that's beyond me. So I'm going to print out a few photos including this one in black and white, and see which works best in the composition I have in mind. The reason for the black and white is that I think that colour would take the focus away from the feathers, and also I think it will fade over time and end up looking rubbish.
Whatever image I settle on will end up in the central square (see below), with the pairs of pin feathers arranged as shown. I think I will then write in ink on the white card internal frame the date and wood where each bird was shot. Admittedly, I don't know exactly which is which, but let's not ruin a good story.
IMAG0672 by pinemarten, on Flickr
Any feedback or suggestions welcome!