The teardrop is the workhorse of the feather templates. It can be used for anything - borders, wreaths, Prince's Plumes, and fancy corners. Notched so any beginner can use it with beautiful results every time, it produces a smooth, gently-rounded, non-commercial feather.
If you haven't used a feather template before, start by drawing a slightly curved line on a piece of paper. This line is the spine of your feather. Place your template at an attractive angle at the bottom left of the spine, making sure that the lower right-hand notch on the template intersects the spine. Trace completely around the template. Now, move the template upward (still on the left-hand side of the spine) so that the bottom notch intersects the spine and the top notch, on the opposite side of the template, intersects the line you drew around the template to begin with. This time, draw around the template only, notch to notch, as in the drawing on the other side of this page. Continue on in this manner, until you reach the top of the spine.
Now, turn the template over and start again at the bottom, trying as nearly as possible to place the template at the same angle as the one on the left. Trace entirely around the template. Continue working upward as you did before, until the design is completed.
This metal template can be used indefinitely without losing its shape. Both sides have been roughened (gritted), so that the template will not slip while in use.
Now, practice a more difficult curve. You will note that as long as you are careful about placing the template so that the bottom notch lies against the spine and the top notch lies somewhere along the outline of the previous feather segment, the template itself will adjust to the curve, and you'll get a perfect feather no matter which way the spine curves. The spine, unless it turns too sharp a corner, can go anywhere. You can mark borders, wreaths, and ovals. You can curve around corners in simple or fancy ways. You can make any design if you follow four simple steps:
- Draw the spine.
- Fill in the feather segments along both sides by simply placing the template so that the notches line up properly.
- Draw around this teardrop template notch to notch.
- Draw the spine
There are more instructions on the Thin Teardrop and more illustrations for the Regular Teardrop.