Whooooo's a cutie?!

by brae  

One of my favorite animals is the owl, and I especially love the Burrowing Owl.  I have a printout of an image of a Burrowing Owl chick on my wall at work.  It makes me smile.  :D

I've been so inspired by the work of Anya Stone and Kerri Pajutee, two amazing artisans who make the most realistic miniature animals I've ever seen.  I've wanted to make a Burrowing Owl for some time now, so I decided to just hop to it!  Kerri has two great tutorials on CDHM: one for sculpting a bird and another on flocking and feathering.  I used those as a basis to start my mini owl.

I decided to make an adult Burrowing Owl.

image by Nature's Pic's Online

I was lucky to find a good photo of the back of the owl, too (see photos by Ecobirder).

I sculpted my bird using white polymer clay, though it got fairly dirty as I worked with black wire to make the legs and feet.  The feet look a bit big, but it was the only wire I had and the flocking and feathering will add weight once applied.  To get the bird to stand while baking, I tied some wire around the ceramic tile I use for baking clay.

After baking and cooling, I painted the whole piece with light tan acrylic paint.  I also painted the eyes and beak before feathering.  Caution: naked birdie below...

I bought two types of feathers, using the darker ones for the tail feathers and back and using the lighter ones for the breast.  I used embroidery floss to make the flocking.  I cut all but the spotted and striped portions from the feathers.  I followed Kerri Pajutee's tutorial for placement for the most part but tried to use the natural patterns of my feathers to mimic those of the Burrowing Owl.

Here are some photos of my owl as the feathering progressed...

And, finished!  :D

I love him!!!!!  I don't think I did half bad my first time around if I do say so myself.

And, he looks right at home on Baslow Ranch!  :D


Comment from: Margaret [Visitor]
Your owl is fabulous and I love your scene, Room to Rent, it is so realistically aged and the tufts of grass look great at the front.
08/21/10 @ 00:23
Comment from: Christine [Visitor]
I just love your owl! It certainly doesn't look like a first attempt.
08/21/10 @ 00:38
Comment from: Susan [Visitor]
Awesome work! You are one clever miniature bird maker, your owl is something to be proud of.
08/21/10 @ 01:26
Comment from: Heleni [Visitor]
The owl is amazing. So lovely and beautiful
08/21/10 @ 01:45
Comment from: Marlene [Visitor]
Brae yor owl is fantastic, you must be so pleased and thanks for showing us how it is done, not that I would be able to acheave anything as good.
08/21/10 @ 02:19
Comment from: Marion [Visitor]  
You have done a marvellous job on your owl. I wish I could do something like that after my 10th attempt! :-) And bye the way, I love owls too....
08/21/10 @ 02:26
Comment from: kathi [Visitor]
Wow! Great job! Your little owl looks so real! :D
08/21/10 @ 05:12
Comment from: susan wener [Visitor]
Perfect! Nice job. Maybe you should try some different birds/critters since you seem to have a knack for it.
08/21/10 @ 06:17
Comment from: Monkey [Visitor]
08/21/10 @ 07:15
Comment from: casey [Visitor]
Very cool owl. We have them around here. I still have a drawing that I did in college of one of them standing on one leg like the back pose that you have. They are really fun to watch. That one was in the Tucson Desert Museum. He had to stay put.... You did a great job. Love the eyes.
08/21/10 @ 08:14
Comment from: Chris [Visitor]  
love your owl he' looks fantastic!! beautiful!!
08/21/10 @ 08:55
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thanks, everyone, for your words of encouragement! :D
08/21/10 @ 10:43
Comment from: Andrea Thieck [Visitor]
Really a CUTIE!!!
08/21/10 @ 12:35
Comment from: Keli Minick [Visitor]
Nice work!
08/22/10 @ 05:16
Comment from: heather [Visitor]
Ohh! He's wonderful!
08/22/10 @ 11:35
Comment from: Peggy [Visitor]
Just one word....amazing!!!!!!!
08/22/10 @ 12:55
Comment from: Flor [Visitor]
¡Que gusto conocer tu blog!!! Me gusto muchísimo!!! Saludos Flor
08/24/10 @ 08:36
Comment from: casey [Visitor]
Brae, I left you an award on my blog this morning. Please come pick it up. I already commented on the owl....I still think he's great!
08/24/10 @ 10:21
Comment from: Lyssa [Visitor]
I love this little guy. And to add to our strange parallel path, before you posted about this, I was scouring the internet for flocking and such to make tiny animals, too. hahaha! I have a few sites bookmarked for future endeavors. :)
08/24/10 @ 12:25
Comment from: jose [Visitor]
fantastico trabajo me quedo maravillado que perfecto esta me encata parese que esta vivo y va a salir a volar
08/24/10 @ 14:33
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you all for your kind words! I am so glad my little owl is well loved! :yes:
08/24/10 @ 14:51
Comment from: Lyssa [Visitor]
I just realized two things 1) I STILL love this tiny owl and am adding one to my wish list. 2) Not remembering this post, I watched Legends of the Guardians with my kids and I, too, LOVE Burrowing owls. They are so stinking cute!!!! Bravo, again, on your awesomeness. :)
04/06/11 @ 18:28
Comment from: craftland [Visitor]
This owl ist absolutely cute. Thank you for sharing and the tutorial
05/07/11 @ 12:39
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you, thank you! :D
05/07/11 @ 12:43
Comment from: Maria [Visitor]
I love the Owl...very well made with the real feathers. I just found your blog and i like it very much. Hugs Maria
07/06/11 @ 04:17
Comment from: Rachel [Visitor]
OMG your owl is amazing and first attempt wow i love him/her owls are my most favourite yours is unbelieveably lifelike well done on an awesome job xx
07/16/11 @ 12:10
Comment from: Sheryl-Kay Hall [Visitor]
Great Job! You have so much talent, can you share? hugs Sheryl-Kay
07/19/11 @ 14:40
Comment from: Sandra from Sydney [Visitor]  
Your range of talents continue to amaze me! Wonderful owl - doesn't look like a first attempt, it is very realistic indeed. Well done!!!
08/08/11 @ 20:19
Comment from: Gemma Figueras [Visitor]
Lo acabo de descubrir y me encanta.Quiero uno!!!
03/10/12 @ 10:05
Comment from: Jan Johnson [Visitor]
Beautiful little owl and great tutorial - maybe three years ago but I found it on Pinterest today and am so glad I did! The feathers worked out really well cut down - really cute. Thank you!
06/26/13 @ 01:11
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you!!! :>>
07/08/13 @ 12:23
Comment from: Tinte [Visitor]  
So lovely and cute! Great tutorial!
04/25/14 @ 01:11

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