Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Pretty Project

I've always loved antique fans. For a long time now, I've wanted to try making some in miniature. This last weekend I finally gave it a go. Since I wanted the fan to look very delicate, I chose to make the sticks of the fan very narrow, and spread them quite widely. In many of the examples I looked at, it was hard to see the individual spokes, which were so close together there was no space between. I was relieved to find a few historical examples where the sticks were spaced the way I preferred.
This was my first attempt (above). You can see that the bottom of the fan got a little messed up on this attempt, but I kept going, because I wanted to make sure all the other steps I'd figured out would would work the way I thought they would. I used an old gold silk for the fan leaf and tassel. The colors are a bit brighter in real life.
I had a little trouble with the spokes of this fan, as well, but they came out better overall. I used a pinkish beige silk on this fan, and painted three little portraits connected by garlands of flowers . It still needs a tassel.
 This fan had perfect spokes! I painted a landscape this time, with a pair of flower-filled urns flanking the scene.

 Did I mention that these are less than an inch tall, and only about an inch and a quarter wide?  Unfortunately, even using the thinnest silk I had, they are still a little too thick to function, but I think with a bit more experimenting, I'll be able to make them in various open and closed positions. I'm also excited to try a few variations, like adding guards (which most, but not all of the fans I saw had) and maybe adding some painted flowers or gold designs to the spokes!


  1. Your fans are just lovely and so tiny, I love the delicate painting that you did on them, I am looking forward to see more of them.

  2. Beautifull. So delicate. The painting on the fans are gorgeous.


  3. Your fans are wonderful. I love the beautiful paintings on them.
    Hugs Maria

  4. They look amazing, the paintings on them add a special element.

  5. Your fans are really delicate looking. Beautiful painting!