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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Number 2: Tatting Flamingos

First Flamingos in the tatting firing line were from Martha Ess's book 'New Critters on the Block'. This is a super little book of block tattered little cuties and this one is a real cutie.
This one was made with Flora 10 thread and is about two and a half inches tall.

This inspired a whole line up of tiny flamingos that are certainly destined to make a picture whenever I have time.
These were made in variegated Flora 20 and Altin Basak 50. and are about one and a half inches high. The variegated threads work really well.
The long neck lends itself to posing in different positions and I made some without feet as they were wading in the water.

Next I was looking for something a bit more realistic and where else would I look first but on Jane Eborall's site. In my opinion Jane just has to be one of the best tatted animal designers out there. She studies the animal in question carefully to make sure she has gets most of the characteristics right within the confines of tattings limitations, and is constantly developing new methods to overcome problems.

Janes flamingo is a smasher. I was so proud of my first attempt, showed it to hubby who always truthful,(well he is a zoologist) told me that it didn't look like a flamingo because one of the the characteristics of flamingos is that they have very, very long, very, very skinny legs!

On closer examination Jane's legs were indeed not very, very long, neither were they very,very skinny!

But with a little, well a lot of leg pulling and blocking, the legs became skinny enough to satisfy. The neck also needs stretching and blocking to shape. the body is really good and the best thing I like is the head. She has miraculously captured the essence of a flamingo head with the large black beak.
This one was made in Altin Basak 50 and is 4 inches high.

Flamingos feed on brine shrimps which they strain out of the water with the beak. They walk along head bent with the beak held upside down in the water. It's the pink colour of the shrimps that give the flamingos their colour. We have a wild life park near where we live and the flamingos have to be given additives to the diet to maintain their colouration.

Thinking about flamingos brought back memories. While living in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 1968-70, during college breaks we would go on safari. One of the most memorable was to Ngorongoro Crater. Down at the bottom of the extinct volcano is a soda lake just seething with flamingos, as well as hippos and loads of terrestrial stuff. Access was only by 4 wheel drive, open top landrover and boy was it exciting.
Just had to go dig out the slides and take another look.

One of the poses I really love in flamingos is when the stand 'at ease' for hours on end with one leg tucked up behind the other, so I thought it would be nice to change Jane's pattern a little and this is the finished result.

This was made in Flora 20 and is five and a half inches high.

Jane didn't mind having her 'leg pulled'! In fact she likes my version so much that she has put the pattern up on her website alongside her original. Thanks a million Jane.

The two versions made in Altin Basak make a lovely pair.

1 comment:

  1. whoo-hoo wonderful! I've been meaning to tat some flamingos for my son and my sister who have a flamingo war going on. Long funny family story. (ggg) I saw them on Jane's site originally and love the new & improved version.

    :-) Gina


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