Michele Tway combines the spirit of assemblage art with techniques used by teddy bear artists, jewelers and fiber artists to create whimsical mixed media bird sculptures.
Rather than following the linear thinking typically associated with IT professionals, Michele has created something new and different with what she calls intentioned randomness.
Quirky, off center and made with a combination of new and recycled materials; each bird sculpture is designed to capture the curiosity and charm of our feathered friends.
Michele uses freeform crochet, which by definition is intentionally random, to create their coats of many colors. Each bird is further adorned with embroidered beaks and eyes. A minimum of 20 different fibers are used on each bird, further ensuring its individuality. Fellow artists, once finished with their own work, furnish many of the recycled materials Michele uses.
Michele has always been fascinated by their seemingly mismatched variations of textures – shiny eyes, hard beaks, wrinkled legs, sharp talons and soft feathers. Instead of taking wing, they often hop along the ground; twisting their heads from side to side as if to listen to something only they can hear.
Her birds are inspired by natural species, but Michele does not strive to recreate them. After all, she says, “Where would the fun be in that?”
But, Where’s Their Wings?
For the most part, it is only when birds come down to Earth that we can truly see their personalities; look them in the eye; and truly begin to engage with them. We can observe how they explore the world. We can see how different species (and even different birds within those species) interact with each other and we mere, flightless, humans. From the quirk of their heads as they examine things to how long, or short, their legs are; it isn’t until their wings are folded flat against their bodies that we truly see them as individuals.