confronting the pigeon : progress on my city bird

I like pigeons. I like the city beasts.  And I have an affinity for the less loved creatures, ants bats, rats, mosquitos etc. Pigeons fit right in.  What I love best about them is that they manage to be imperious and goofy – all at the same time.

So I want to make a pigeon. I stalled in the muslin draft phase. Stalled real good. The universe keeps sending me excellent pigeon fabric though. Maybe that’s why I got stuck – couldn’t choose. There is also a little anxiety about when to move out of prototyping – and all the freedom and experimenting that affords – into trying one in beautiful pigeony fabric.

stitched pigeon progress

I ended up deciding to combine a mix of collections in a way I don’t very often. I used Fortuny for the body and will use it for the feet also, an Edwardian pinafore and other garment scraps will be feathers and some beautiful teal from Sri Threads for the head.

stitched pigeon progress

The teal is what finally got me to take a shot at turning out a finished bird. It arrived lately with some other magnificent pieces and I couldn’t resist trying it. I’m happy with the shape and I’ll move into details this weekend and start a couple more too – using more of the exquisite things from Sri.

sri threads textiles

A condescending yet vacant  pigeon or two should be forth coming.


  1. Love the beautiful fabrics, she would tell you how much she loves it too, but she has no mouth…

    What an elegant, imperious statement she portrays. (If she only had a brain.)

  2. I love pigeons. (recently I was given the “opportunity” to scoop very old pigeon poop from a very old pigeon house for fertilizer for my garden, and I did.) Apparently people have pigeon houses, or at least they used to here in the Midwest.

  3. I live in a villagey suburb of Norwich which is a small rural city in England and we get wood pigeon’s in the garden, they waddle about and shuffle their feathers which sound like cross gentleman shaking their umbrellas in the rain…their colouring is very beautiful, all smudgey grey with pretty rose pink blush across their chest and irridescent speckles around the back of their necks…..
    I love the one you made and it made me think very much of the birds that regularly visit our garden.

  4. Suzanne

    Lo, the pigeon: so maligned, so misunderstood.

    And I am salivating over those threads from Sri.

  5. Such a “Pigeon”! I love doves and pigeons. You nailed it with “imperious and goofy – all at the same time.” I can only imagine the beautiful new birds who will start showing up here. I’ve been going through your website, year by year, month by month… VERY slowly (to make it last.) Makes me smile and go straight to my studio to make art. Thank you!

  6. Jennifer

    I always love your work and I love pigeons and doves. This bird is wonderful, heres hoping you publish the pattern for this one:).

  7. michele cederquist

    This pigeon is brilliant and lovely. I hope a pattern comes from this work!

  8. City Pigeons are amongst my favourite city dwellers too and I have for a while now been wanting to make soft sculptures of them. I’ve photographed so many of these birds over the years and watched them move around between pedestrians feet and avoiding trains, cars and trams.
    Just adore your work, makes me happy.

  9. Margaret Harwood

    I love how your pigeon is coming along. I love pigeons too. That is why I have about 150 of them from feral birds to fancy show birds. I rehab the injured and broken. Keep those who can’t be released in special housing where they can have as normal a life as possible. They come in all colors and are one of the toughest critters around. They are funny, serious, playful and beautiful, even the ones with missing toes, blind, broken winged, shot and other horrible things that happened to them.

  10. Está muy linda la Paloma, en mi país no las quieren mucho 🙁

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