Montag, 1. April 2013

How to storage feathers

If I find a feather outdoors in the forest or on the beach I often take it with me. That’s nothing illegal, because in my country it’s allowed to pick up feathers. I collect feathers since I was a child and also used them for crafting some arrows. But now, many years later, I have a whole bunch of feathers! It’s impossible to exhibit them all, so I was thinking about to storage them. The biggest enemy of all feathers is the museum beetle (Anthrenus museorum), so it must be something “bug-free”. You find tips and tricks under the cut, so please read on!

In the past an empty honey glass was enough but then I needed empty carton boxes. Old mail boxes were all what I had, so there was no aesthetics. My collection grew and grew and I needed more boxes because of the feathers coming in different sizes. Some day I started to sort the feathers and put all duck feathers together and so on. For this reason I wrote the name of the birds on the top cover so I knew what I had in the boxes. But there was still no room for aesthetics.
Last week I started to sort out my feathers again but I fed up with those ugly boxes! I purchased some new mailing boxes, painted them with acrylic colours and used the decoupage technique on them. They turned out pretty nice, but now I don’t have any space for to write the birds name on it. So, what’s to do now?

Painted box for my crow and magpie feathers.
I started to write the birds name including the Latin one in a word file. Now every carton box looks different so I made a register for each box. With the aid of some books and the internet I tried to identify each feather. That’s no easy job and I think I will need the help of my trusted taxidermist soon...

I’m lucky to have a good memory so after I identify a feather I will know the birds name for years and don’t forget it. But sometimes it’s hard, especially if some feathers look quite similar. So it’s a good thing to put these feathers in pressure lock plastic bags or in transparent envelopes. On those you can write the birds name very easy.

My owl feathers.
My sense of order wants to put all of my feathers in such envelopes or bags, but I want to touch my feathers when I take them out of the carton boxes! And some feathers are too bent anyway. For the smaller feathers I obtain plastic boxes with a cover. That’s a cool thing, because that’s the best way to protect the feathers from the museums beetle!

But what’s about the bigger feathers? I spray insecticide over them and into the box. You should spray insecticide into the boxes one or two times in the year. Check your feathers in the boxes regularly - maybe one of these nasty bugs found a way into your treasury!

Before starting this I couldn’t have possibly imagined that it would be so much work to restore and to declare all my feathers. I’m still not finished! But it’s fun to hold these beauties in my hands again, thinking about the old days back when I found them. Feathers are so beautiful and amazing! I see forward to a complete work! Maybe one time, when I’m older, I have to take a photo of each feather, making a folder about all these different kind of birds… But definitely not yet! x3

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