Feathers are some of the most special gifts of the natural world, and combined with the kaleidoscopic patterns of peyote stitch beadwork they are truly beautiful. Whether they are wild turkey, bird of prey, or colourful feathers from tropical birds, they all bring magic into the world.

Feathers from different birds are used in many animistic and shamanic societies as sacred objects all over the world. They are used as fans, tied onto other objects and worn on the head as crowns.

It is from the Native peoples of North America that Nicholas draws much of his inspiration for his fans and beaded feathers, many similar items are used in the Native American Church or as dance fans.


These are formed from a group of carefully matched feathers fixed into a handle which is then beaded in eye-catching peyote stitch beadwork. Plied deerskin tassels hang from the base of the fan's handle.

Theses fans are often used for smudging and blessing, as well as for healing work. Often Nick will use beautiful wild turkey tail or wing feathers, which are very traditional feathers, but sometimes it is possible to make a fan from crow or swan, bird of prey, or tropical bird feathers such as macaw feathers.


The feathers in these fans are designed to float and dance as the fan is moved. They are not really suitable for use as smudging fans, rather they are used as prayer, blessing and healing tools.

The number of feathers in each fan varies from between six and about twelve, and they are set into a peyote beaded handle. Sometimes each of the feathers quills are beaded in peyote stitch beadwork too, to match the beadwork on the handle.

Drop fans are exceptional craft items which takes many days of beadwork to complete.


A single feather may be used for smudging, prayer, calling to spirit helpers, healing, or many other medicine uses. The quill of the feather is wrapped in buckskin and beaded in peyote stitch beadwork. The feathers Nicholas uses are generally wild turkey.

Nicholas sometimes make fans from feathers people may already have (if they are suitable).

Nicholas does not sell the feathers he uses, the price for a fan is the price for the time it takes to make the object and do the beadwork. The feathers he uses come from legal sources and are possessed legally.

With the exception of feathers from birds which are eaten - such as turkey or pheasant - Nicholas does not buy any of the feathers he uses. This is the way he was taught the medicine traditions, and is especially true of bird of prey feathers, which he is sometimes given, or will, on occasion, trade for.