Furniture and birdsong

posted in: ideas 0

With all the wonderful bird song beginning again now and Spring feeling as if it must burst out soon, I have been thinking about birdsong as an inspiration for furniture.  In my past life I worked a lot with birdsong – made lots of programmes about it from it’s biology to its beauty.  So to incorporate it in my furniture would have a lovely continuity.

The connection between furniture design and birdsong may not be immediately obvious, but birdsong is full of patterns and rich in tones.  The song thrush always repeats each phrase 3 or 4 times (and boy does it let rip! especially first thing in the morning.)  So I can imagine a piece with a repeated motif appearing in 3’s or 4’s…. think I prefer 3.  And the woods would have to be strong… maybe something quite contrasty.  Sycamore with walnut – that would capture the brightness and forcefulness of the song.

Then there’s it’s cousin, the blackbird – my and many people’s favourite song.  How would I capture that reedy eloquence?  There’s a glorious development to each phrase – simple idea that becomes ornamented.  Surely i can do something with that? I will have to listen more.  They are only just getting going around here. (But I’ve already seen females collecting nesting material) Need a few more warm days.  Cherry might be the right wood.

And maybe a third?  the wren would be full of trills and twiddly bits…… not really what I want my furniture to look like.

The nightingale is certainly an impressive singer and we do get them still in Gloucestershire.  But with 80 or so phrases it offers maybe too much choice.

Of course I do love the mistle thrush – an understated contralto that travels for miles.  I could go for that.  Simple, rich and strong.  Maybe in English walnut. Leave it with me.

Song thrush, black bird and mistle thrush… all in the same family. I like the coherence. will let you know if the idea grows.


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