Captivated by color and fascinated with feathers, Australian artist Jill Ffrench handcrafts enchanting felted birds. In her splendid series of peacock pieces, Ffrench pays particular attention to the creatures’ tail feathers, which she adorns with beautifully balanced patterns and eye-catching designs.
Composed only of wire, wax, and a range of colorful felt, the sculptures convey both the beauty of birds and the capabilities of the craft itself. Each of her creations features conspicuous stitches, bold thread work, and fuzzy felt, which illustrate the handmade elegance of fiber art. “In my textile work you can see traditional embroidered stitches and appliqué methods that I combine together to form a complex symmetrical patterns of fine feather detail,” she explains on her website.
Ffrench finds inspiration through travel. Her particular fondness for peacocks emerged after exploring India and Africa as a young adult—though, today, she doesn’t need to look much further than her home in Melbourne for muses. “Like most creative people, my imagination keeps me awake at night,” she says, “and the inspiration that I find in old books, vintage textiles and even in the graffiti on the city’s walls helps me in my desire to design the ultimate bird.”
In addition to peacocks, Ffrench also dabbles in other avian species, including toucans, hummingbirds, and cranes. You can pick out your own “ultimate bird” in her cute and colorful Etsy shop, Fantails and Feet.