Feathers, Form and Function

September 25, 2015

Feathers, Form and Function

Since the tender age of twelve, North American artist, Chris Maynard has worked with feathers to create the most beautiful and intriguing installations and shadow boxes. Produced using the most intricate of tools and a family heirloom magnifying glass, his exquisite creations are prized worldwide by art collectors and bird lovers alike.

A self-confessed feather fanatic, the artist says it has taken him years to fully understand feathers, which he describes as unique and complicated. With a thorough knowledge of the various shapes, sizes and colours and the feather's complex structure, he chooses his materials precisely and employs a time-consuming, technical process to painstakingly dismantle them with no risk of their falling apart.

When travelling, Chris takes the opportunity to familiarise himself with the locals - a recent trip to Miami afforded him the opportunity to visit the region's swamps and beaches, in search of their resident spoonbills and ibises, skimmers and gallinules.

All legally acquired, the feathers are naturally shed by a diversity of birds that include parrots, peacocks, crows and turkeys, and the artist feels that producing only bird-themed artworks honours their subject.

With little time to dedicate to his exceptional craftsmanship, originals of Maynard's work are limited and prints are unavailable. Thankfully, however, there is another way to enjoy these wonderful artworks – in his published book: Feathers, Form and Function.


Crow feathers and kea feather
Owl for One and One for Owl. European crow feathers and kea wing feather.

Starling feathers
Starlings of 20 species.

Argus pheasant tail feather
Loon Star. Argus pheasant tail feather.

Red tail black cockatoo feathers
Choices M. Red-tail black cockatoo tail feathers.

Turkey feathers
Swallow Perch. Turkey feathers.





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