Fan Birds

fan bird in window squareA traditional craft from Eastern Europe, fan birds are thought to protect the home and bring health and happiness to the family.
Often referred to as Holy Birds, they are given as gifts on many occasions and especially popular at weddings, christenings and Christmas.

Each bird is individually hand-carved and will soar and swoop in the slightest breeze.

Wingspan 4 inches:  £15  
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Fan Bird Workshop
fan bird workshop

Learn to make these amazing birds yourself using simple hand tools on my one-day workshop. Suitable for beginners as well as experienced woodworkers looking to learn new skills.

To book a place or get details of new course dates, visit my courses page or sign up to the SteveTomlinCrafts Newsletter. Read about a previous fan bird course.

Fan birds are made from a single piece of wood: watch the wings unfold in this video – you can do it too on my workshop.


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Fan Bird Legend

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During the Medieval Era in northern Russia lived a poor family in a simple log house whose young boy was very ill.  He lay in his bed where he was covered with furs.  People came from neighboring villages to try to help him regain his health, but all efforts were in vain.

It was the end of winter, and his father was sitting by the fireplace making baskets.  Tired of lying in a stuffy house, the ill boy asked, “Dad, is summer coming soon?”

“Yes son, very soon. Just a little more and summer will be here.”

Then his father got an idea.  He thought, “I will make a bird from this piece of wood.  I will make it to look like a real bird with two wings and a tail.  Maybe my son will think summer has come and the birds have returned.  That would make him very happy.”

The father said, “I will make summer for you.”

He made a bird and hung it from the ceiling near the fireplace where his son could see it.  The draft of the hot air streams from the fire caused the bird to spin.  Its wings began to move and suddenly it became alive.  Thus, the bird assumed magical powers and became known as the “Holy Ghost,” safe keeper of children and symbol of family happiness.

The son was filled with joy and his health improved.  The people from the neighboring villages returned to ask how the boy was healed.  When they heard the story about the bird, they asked the father to make a bird for their home to safeguard and protect their family.