Visionary Vultures 2: Owls & Old World Bird Pin Collection

Created by Foxfeather Zenkova

A stunning collection of pins celebrating the Old World vulture family and supporting awareness of endangered vulture conservation. Pins have arrived and are shipping out now! Most orders will ship within 3-5 days of being charged. Purchasing items from this store directly supports our work in wildlife rehabilitation and vulture conservation - you can learn more at https://vultureconservancy.org You can see more of Foxfeather's artwork at: https://foxloft.com UK/Great Britain orders will be charged VAT as per the 2021 changes requiring the seller to submit VAT fees (receipts showing pre-payment will be sent with your order).

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Project Wrap-Up: Shipping complete!
about 1 month ago – Sat, Jul 02, 2022 at 06:12:42 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

Notes from the Packing Mines: Shipping Update & Wildlife Rehab News
2 months ago – Tue, Jun 07, 2022 at 05:05:19 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

Great News! Pins have arrived and shipping has started!
3 months ago – Thu, May 19, 2022 at 11:50:32 PM

All the pins have arrived and they look amazing! 

Shipping manager Comet supervised the packages as they arrived, all 1400lbs of them!

You should have gotten an email via Backerkit letting you know your address has locked down for shipping. If you didn't receive this email (and it's not in your spam filter), please check your account at: https://visionary-vultures.backerkit.com/  

A handful of people still haven't finished their surveys, or have credit cards in error from add-on items, so if you didn't get the address notification make sure you aren't one of them.

Tracking information will be sent via ship@pirateship.com from Foxloft Studios (keep an eye on your spam filter if you don't see it within the next two weeks) as soon as your pledge is on its way!

Stormfly is on duty, making sure we can keep our 100% mouse-free package guarantee

I am busy sorting and packing all pledges, working as quickly as I can to get your pledge out promptly. I have almost 1800 packages left to send, so please have patience as I can get through about 200-300 each day. 

A tiny army of screech owl earrings in progress

When your prizes arrive, we love when you share photos with us on social media!  

@foxfeather on Twitter and Facebook

@foxloft  on Instagram or Tiktok

A link to our pin shop, if you want to share (or find yourself needing more in the future!) is at : https://visionary-vultures.backerkit.com/hosted_preorders

(or shortened at: https://tinyurl.com/5e9mas98


I am really excited to share two major upcoming projects for this year (many people have asked, yes, more pins are in the works - the other is a total surprise!). If you're one of our Patreon sponsors you will hear about this first, soon! 

 If you aren't yet, you can join anytime at: https://www.patreon.com/foxfeather - if you can't support right now, you can Follow for free (just scroll down the page a little and you'll see the button) to be notified of any new public posts!


Thank you again for your patience while the pins were being made, I am so excited to get them into your hands. They're much more beautiful than my phone camera can capture and I think you'll love them when you see them. 

Pins Finished! Pre-Orders/Add-On Shop Closing Soon - Please Read!
4 months ago – Sun, Apr 17, 2022 at 11:10:45 AM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

March Update - Pins nearing completion!
4 months ago – Tue, Mar 29, 2022 at 03:57:27 AM

Cinereous Vulture Pin

Greetings!

    March brings exciting news; the pin manufacturers said that all the pins should be done around the end of this month! Once they are finished, they will begin their journey to me, which will take an estimated 4-8 weeks. A lot happens during shipping (including pins sitting in warehouses while awaiting customs clearance here in the US), so I will keep you updated once I have more of an idea when exactly they will be arriving. Once they arrive to me I will be sorting and grading them, then packing them and working through shipping all the orders to get pins out to you! I am very excited to see the pins in person, all the photos I've been sharing are sent to me as they are being made - I don't get the physical samples myself. I will take lots more photos once I have the pins in hand. :)

White-Headed Vulture Pin, front and back
Female Kestrel Pin in process - before buffing/polishing and metal plating

Pin Production Process 

Here is a neat example of a pin in progress, and a bit of insight into the making process itself.  To make enamel pins, our initial physical art is turned into a digital file, which is then cut into steel to form a mold. These molds are then used to stamp metal into shape, or larger, more complex molds are made and a centrifugal (spinning) force pushes molten metal into the mold to create the 'plates' - the metal frame of the pin, minus the enamel color. 

Coloring is done using carefully matched and mixed pantones in enamel, which are filled by hand or machine injection. Because of the complexity of our pins, almost all the work is done by hand. I am told that the machines are better for simpler designs with larger areas of solid color, which is why making the pins takes so long. Filling and polishing the pins by hand makes each pin slightly different, its own unique piece of art!

When enamel is filled by hand for hard enamel pins, little bits bleed over, as in the sample above. The pins are baked at very high temperature and polished and cleaned to make a flat, smooth surface, which removes the small imperfections from overfill areas. The post backs (pin part) are soldered on, then the pins are then plated with their final metal finish, making then shining gold, silver, black nickel, or any other chosen color. With a final buffing by hand pins are checked, counted, and packed. A lot of work, time, and care goes into making each pin.

I hope that gives you a better idea why making thousands of these pins takes so long! Even after the art is finished, the entire process of choosing colors, producing and tweaking physical samples, and then finishing all the pins is a laborious process. Rest assured, lots of work is going on in the background while you wait for your pins to arrive. 

I will make another post in April when I've got a better idea when pins might be arriving. Thank you again for your patience in waiting with me, I know this new set will be well worth the time they take to finish!

 Wayward Owlet

In wildlife rehab-related news, the busy season is looming and our first baby of the year is this adorable great horned owlet. It was rescued after being blown from its nest during a high windstorm (many thanks to my friend and volunteer Carolyn for taking her day to be an owl ambulance). Great horned owls are one of our earliest nesting birds here in Minnesota, but plenty of raptors already have eggs and more species are soon on their way. 

In many cases, people accidentally bird-nap babies that they think need help but actually don't; this is very common when young birds are learning to fly so they're on the ground but not flying well yet; that is a natural part of the process. If you see a fluffy white baby (without adult bird feathers) alone on the ground like this owlet, however, they often need help. Contact your local rehabilitator or center for advice.

If you don't know who your nearest wildlife rehabbers are, now is a great time to look them up and add their numbers to your phone or notes! It's much easier to find them now than in the middle of coming upon a wildlife emergency. https://ahnow.org/ is a good place to start, or you can look on your state DNR webpage (or call them) for a list of state-permitted wildlife rehabilitators. I know it can be difficult or frustrating to find coverage in all areas (wildlife rehab is work that requires licensing and specialized skill, but is done on a largely volunteer basis) so you may have to hunt around a bit; most rehabilitation centers are located in or near major city centers in each state.

After an exam, clean bill of health, a few good meals and supportive care, this owlet is currently on its way to be re-nested with foster parents in the wild. Unfortunately, the location of its nest is in an inaccessible area, so it couldn't be reunited with its parents. Fortunately, owls and many other raptors will usually accept a similar age chick being added to their nest if they aren't already overloaded. A huge thanks to the UMN Raptor Center who keeps track of potential foster nests and does a lot of this labor-intensive renesting effort each year (often requiring specialized tree climbers or boom trucks capable of going 40-80 feet up in difficult conditions). Wild owls can always do a better job raising their kids and preparing them for a life in the wild than we humans ever can, so I'm very happy this chick can get back to where it should be. 

You can see a video of this cute little owlet being fed here: https://twitter.com/foxfeather/status/1508466343779127297   


Thank you again, so much, for being a sponsor of my work - art and otherwise! You directly make my efforts helping wildlife possible.