I analysed the anatomy of a bird and sketched out the skeletal structure of the wing to help figure out how to create the movement of a bird for my puppet.
I created a mock-up using straws and thread to allow me to explore the movement and produce an accurate representation, however, when I began attaching feathers, I encountered a problem. Whilst the wing was outstretched, I was able to create a graceful shape but upon activating the mechanism the feathers, attached to the ‘radius and ulna’, protruded, which disrupted its fluid form. To resolve this problem, the feathers need to articulate individually.
I realised that, if I fixed the feathers onto the mechanism using rings, they would be able to articulate, as the wing concertinaed into a closed position, and hang flat against one another. Unfortunately, the lack of control would cause the feathers to lie in a vertical position, so when the wing unfolds, it will no longer accurately epitomise a bird in flight.
The level of control needed would only be possible with extensive electronics, so I decided to simplify the movement of my puppet and explore the different ways it can be created.