Wednesday, April 24, 2013

History of the Bird Cage!

 History of the Bird Cage!

Through the centuries, bird cages have been made out of a variety of materials to display, and keep birds safe.  In 900 to 1340 A.D. the Pre-Columbian Paquime Indians, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, housed Scarlet Macaws in adobe structures similar to their own pueblo style homes.  The Paquime raised and bred Scarlet Macaws in order to harvest their beautiful features for religious ceremonies.

In the 14th century, it was in vogue with the wealthy nobility in Europe to own beautiful handmade bird cages to hold exotic birds collected from around the world.  Many cages were made of iron or brass wire while some of the more beautiful and expensive examples were made from mahogany and brass, and were fitted with silver or porcelain bowls to hold food and water for their occupants.

By the 17th and 18th centuries it again became popular for wealthy Europeans to collect exotic birds, and house them in elaborate and expensive bird cages. During this collecting craze, French and Dutch artisans were commissioned to make ornate cages to delight their noble clientele. Some of the most spectacular bird cages of this period were made to resemble elaborate architectural structures for their wealthy owners. During the 18th century, Chinese artisans also made elaborate bird cages out of a variety of materials which included bamboo, wicker, wood, rattan and reed.
At the turn of the 20th century, many people throughout the world collected birds and housed them in painted tin cages.  By the 1920’s, these tin bird cages were replaced by beautiful brass cages, which were suspended from matching bird cage stands.

Today, very few antique bird cages survive because many of these structures were made of materials that birds eventually chewed through. Many of the early bird cages also contained lead based materials, which we now know is toxic to their occupants.

Antique bird cages continue to hold the allure of far off places and they add another layer of sophistication to a variety of decors, which continues to make them highly prized by both collectors and decorators alike.    


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New local artist, Leah Hugon

I would like to introduce you to Leah Hugon our new artist, her work is now available at Thea's.

Leah starts by drawing animal silhouettes and then cuts them out of old maps she has scavenge around Portland. She then attaches the map cuttings to birch wood that she has stained with rich colors like deep turquoise blue or a honey orange.


 Bird  6 x 6

Chihuahua 6 x 6

Artist Bio in her own words:

  Leah Hugon graduated Magna Cum Laude with Bachelor of Science degree in Studio Art from Oral Roberts University in 2003. Her creative and life experience include traveling and volunteering in South America, Africa, The Philippines, Mexico and Scotland.  She has spent much of her creative career as a musician writing and performing music across the country as the lead singer of Pablo’s Dove as well writing, singing, and playing guitar for her own solo projects. She currently resides in Portland Oregon where she paints and works with mixed media and collage out of her studio.  Since moving to Portland in May of 2011 Leah has shown in several group shows, one solo exhibition and volunteered teaching art to youth for a local nonprofit.  In addition to creating paintings she is currently collaborating on and the subject of a local documentary about street musicians in Portland. 

Live Long!
Thea's Vintage Living