Birds feature a lot in my ceramic work. Most will tell I’m scared of them, I maintain that they mainly just gross me out, yuck mated feathers and creepy claws. Though I’ll admit I’m freaked by pigeions – they don’t seem to have great control of their fat bodies and seem to fly right at you all the time, also, really large birds like swans I think are quite evil – they know they can waste you and they just strut around like they’ve got one up on you. So yes, I realise I have something of a problem, though I wouldn’t call it a phobia, it’s more like plain distaste… People often ask me if the reason I feature birds alot is for cathartic purposes, as if I’m trying to explore my bird ‘issues’ through clay. No. I don’t think so. I think I’m fascinated by them, and when I saw a Groupon at the Birds of Prey centre for falconry and bird handling, I thought I’d give it a go, (reasons carthartic? – maybe).
They fly 300 birds a week – most come back they said, the centre provide them with their food source and these birds ain’t dumb! We flew falcons, eagles and owls amongst others, some of which had wing spans of over a metre. Turns out these birds are well groomed and in control, obeying hand signals and flying at you on command. So they get a tick in my book.
Am I cured? No. Still hate pigeons, swans, geese, seagulls and any other scabby bird that tries to get close to you without invitation!