Handmade Wood and Paper Birds by Zack Mclaughlin

London-based artist Zack Mclaughlin constructs these realistic birds made from wood and cut paper leaves.

“If you look at nearly all my work, you will see my main inspiration is nature itself. I can’t say enough how amazed I am by it: continuously finding new details, colours and shapes that I just have to recreate. At the moment it is birds that I am inspired by. The sheer variety and beauty out there is a lifetime’s work in itself. Feathers are just beautiful objects; when they’re together on a living bird, spread wide and used in flight, they look simply stunning.”

“I am quite meticulous when it comes to planning out my next design. I believe that if you want to try and do nature justice you must take note of the finer details and get them right. I will spend a long time researching picture upon picture of the subject from every angle so I can get a real sense of the bird. Then, I will draw out the silhouette of the birds body, map out the wings and tail feathers in the correct sizes, shapes and layouts. From there, I work out the individual feathers and set about cutting them all out.”

“It is very time consuming but I never lose sight of the end goal, it really drives me through even the dullest part of the process. I use small hand scissors for all my cutting as I have more control over the smallest of feathers, especially when making all of the fine cuts along the edges of the feathers. On the larger flight feathers, I add a length of thin metal wire for strength and structure.”

“I go about cutting the body out of a block of solid wood then carve and sand it down with a dremmel tool until I am happy with the shape. Tricky parts like the eyes and feet I make out of wire and clay. Once I have finished the finer details, I paint the bird with a small paint brush and acrylic paint. Then, I will add the tail feathers and solid thick wire structures for the wings.”

“Next is the laborious task of placing all of the individually cut out feathers on the wing structures. The whole thing is very therapeutic and I do really enjoy the end result. I will always use paper for the feathers as it lends itself very well to the look and feel of the real thing!”

“I am not a fast worker at all, I am very meticulous and quite a perfectionist as each detail is carefully planned and executed. For this reason, I take just over 100 hours to create an owl. Smaller birds take me around 50 hours… it’s the feathers which are the time consuming part.”

“The main tool for me is my pair of trusty scissors! They are really small, sharp, light and easy to use; perfect for the intricate work I do. The other tool I really couldn’t do without is my electric dremmel rotary tool.”

Check his website: http://www.zackmclaughlin.com/ and http://zackmclaughlin.deviantart.com/

Source: papercraftermagazine


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