Katie Arbour

 Katie Arbour
Lead in The Feather Board

I started making and selling feather accessories while I was in first year university, as a part of the Summer Company Program (a student bursary program in Ontario for aspiring entrepreneurs). The program actually gave me a lot of confidence to start my own business as a full-time farrier, later in life. Today the feathers are more of a hobby, but I am still amazed at the beauty of colours and varieties found in nature. In feathers, genetic mutations are coveted, an interesting comparison to the stigma of everyday life. In creating pieces, you start to actually seek out any “flaw” or variation from normal, to capture it and present it centre-stage. I think it’s refreshing, a quiet reflection and escape from our everyday stresses; where we are really all struggling to be just like everyone else, to follow the well-worn path since the travelling is often the easiest. Feather accessories can be loud and make you stand out, attracting those around you, or they can help you to blend in and camouflage with your surroundings. There is beauty to be found in extravagance but also in subtlety.

Many of the feathers are home farm-raised, or raised by friends, including the pheasants, chickens, ducks and peacocks.