Sunday, May 13, 2007

My Fluffy Fun Feather Fans

A few weeks ago, I purchased and read an incredible e-book about the how-tos of burlesque. What started out as a small curiosity has become a strong interest in the area. I learned how to create a new "wardrobe" just a week ago (although my current wardrobe just contains the pieces I showed in the blog). This same e-book talked about the fabulous fan dance and how to make your own feather fans.

While the e-book provides instruction for making your own fans from scratch, I didn't want to try to find someone to cut fan staves from a sheet of acrylic that I'd find from who knows where. I also didn't want to get suckered into buying overpriced ostrich feathers from the fashion district, all the while thinking I got a great deal. I followed the author's alternate instructions and bought two Sally Rand junior fan kits from here. For a little more than $40 each, I had mostly complete kits to build two ostrich feather fans in the color of my choosing.

Total construction time per fan was under two hours. I did them while I watched television. The second one was faster, but I figured out some things as I made the first one. I evened up the lengths of all the feathers on the staves before I laid out the fan to attach the staves with a screw at one end and fishing line near the other.

As a heads up for possible fan customers, be sure to use two washers between each stave. They include 24 washers but tell you only to use one between each stave. That's when you're left with 12 extra washers and a lot of screw that doesn't hold your feathers in place very well. My kits were missing the second nuts to secure the ends and the wire ties for securing the feathers. Fortunately, Andrew the puppet master had some wire I could pirate. We'll have to visit a hardware store for the second nuts. I think the Fed Ex tube they were packed in wasn't as secure as expected. Either that, or they just left those things out of the kits.

My baby blue fans are gorgeous and ready for use. Now I just need to learn how to use them for more than posing.

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