Danusia Brandstetter's Profile

About

Hello, I'm Danusia Brandstetter, and I enjoy making beautiful items out of feathers.I grew up in New Jersey, where my parents started a new life after fleeing their native Poland in World War II; Danusia is a traditional Polish name.

I was a teenager in San Francisco in 1974, when a roommate was throwing away an old stuffed bird. I said, "Save those beautiful feathers," and it changed my life. Soon I was proud to be one of the early approved street vendors in San Francisco, teaching myself techniques I still use today, and enjoying the personal interaction with my customers. A few years later I was one of the first artists to re-introduce feather masks to the New Orleans market, and by the 1980's, with the help of husband and feather assistant Ron, I was presenting my work at America's top arts & crafts festivals, such as the Los Angeles Festival of Masks, Sausalito Art Festival,…

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  • Joined December 3, 2009

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FeathersByDanusia
Feather masks and Feather Jewelry-...

About

Hello, I'm Danusia Brandstetter, and I enjoy making beautiful items out of feathers.I grew up in New Jersey, where my parents started a new life after fleeing their native Poland in World War II; Danusia is a traditional Polish name.

I was a teenager in San Francisco in 1974, when a roommate was throwing away an old stuffed bird. I said, "Save those beautiful feathers," and it changed my life. Soon I was proud to be one of the early approved street vendors in San Francisco, teaching myself techniques I still use today, and enjoying the personal interaction with my customers. A few years later I was one of the first artists to re-introduce feather masks to the New Orleans market, and by the 1980's, with the help of husband and feather assistant Ron, I was presenting my work at America's top arts & crafts festivals, such as the Los Angeles Festival of Masks, Sausalito Art Festival, the ACE shows in several major cities, Lincoln Center Festival in Manhattan, Seattle Folklife Festival, New Orleans Mardi Gras Mask Market and New Orleans Jazz Festival, The Oregon Country Fair, and many more, as well as being featured in many high-quality craft retailers across the nation.

Making truly beautiful pieces from feathers is not for the faint of heart. Over the years I have developed many special sources for the best feathers, I have learned to dye my own feathers (which involves many washings and rinsings, and boiling dye-baths wearing safety gear), and I have given much attention to providing sturdy and comfortable bases to support the visible feathers. Every feather in every piece is individually checked for size, color and quality, and every feather in every piece is put in place by my hands.

We made feathers and presented at art fairs and shipped to retailers full-time for 44 years, with our son growing up taking naps under tables at fairs. However by 2001 I was suffering from carpal tunnel issues, and because of this and other issues we decided to stop doing feathercrafts full-time. Ron supported me as I got my college degree in Nursing, and now I am a RN at a local hospital. Yet I have always loved doing some feathercrafts on a "semi-retired" basis, mostly with our long list of old customers. We hope this esty store will be an appropriate location for offering our high-quality hand-made feathercrafts for our old and new friends.

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