Creation of Copper: How One Fan Brought a Faux Owl to Life

Owls are a pretty big part of the wizarding world. Not only do they make faithful companions and a reliable mail delivery network (except perhaps Errol), but they are just so darn cute.

Copper the owl may not deliver mail, but this creature makes for a wonderful pet, and he sure is gorgeous. There’s just one thing – Copper is a faux owl and was completely built from scratch. Amber Oliver from Phoenix, Arizona, created Copper over the course of four years, getting every detail just right.

 

Copper is a fully moveable homemade owl designed and built by a fan from Phoenix, Arizona.

 

She explained that there was a lot of research and time that went into getting Copper’s anatomy correct.

This project was actually 4 years in the making, just learning the process and what goes into it. Kaypea Creation’s videos on [Y]ou[T]ube were my primary information, and she was kind enough to answer any questions I had. To learn owls better, I looked at a lot of skeletons and wing diagrams – Copper actually has all the flight feathers and coverlets that a real owl would have! Copper also has a ball[-and-]socket spine, wrapped in quilt batting to provide a sense of softness. However, I’ve added a step to my current project, which includes a wire ribcage as well.

Of course, the Harry Potter films were a source of inspiration for Ms. Oliver in creating Copper. She says the scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when the owls cover the Dursleys’ house was her favorite. From there, she picked an owl species with all the right colors and patterns to model Copper after.

 

Copper has every detail a real owl would have, including wing span, mobility, and correct feather placement.

 

The bird’s skeleton is fully movable and allows you to pose him in a variety of ways, making him look even more realistic.

The ball[-and-]socket spine extends to his wings, actually, though I limited some of their flexibility so that they would hold their shape as they extend. You just pose him with your hands as you would a piece of wire, really. His neck and wings bend and turn whichever way you want – the only limitation is the seams sewn should be taken into account to not stress them.

Throughout the entire process, however, she mentions that the hardest part to get right was Copper’s face. Getting it to look exactly the way it was intended was tricky.

The face! I sculpted his face 4 times before I found a version that I liked! Then I molded it in silicone so I can make more of him with resin! The resin is also much more durable than clay.

Ms. Oliver not only has plans to make more creatures like Copper, but she’s also just about done with another owl.

I’m 90% through making a female snowy owl (looks nothing like movie [H]edwig because those were all male). Up next is either a phoenix or a baby hippogryph [sic]. I do have a long-term goal of life-sized adult hippogryphs [sic] too.

Ms. Oliver, a member of Hufflepuff, says her favorite Harry Potter was Prisoner of Azkaban until recently. Now, she holds Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald as her favorite Wizarding World movie because of all the creatures and magic throughout the film.

MuggleNet would like to extend a special thank you to Amber Oliver for sharing her creation. If you have a creation you’d like to be featured, email all relevant information to submissions@staff.mugglenet.com.

Full Transcript with Amber Oliver, Friday, June 25, 2021

For clarification, what is your name and where are you from? (As much as you are comfortable providing.)

My name is Amber, and I’m from Phoenix, Arizona.

How did you first get into reading/watching Harry Potter?

My aunt actually bought me Prisoner of Azkaban when I was 8, knowing that I would love the creature on the cover. It was the only book I had actually read of the series when Sorcerer's Stone came out as a movie later that year. I really fell in love with the movies after that, but I still read the books as an adult.

Can you explain a bit about the process of working through a project like this? What kind of owl research did you have to do?

This project was actually 4 years in the making, just learning the process and what goes into it. Kaypea Creation’s videos on [Y]ou[T]ube were my primary information, and she was kind enough to answer any questions I had. To learn owls better, I looked at a lot of skeletons and wing diagrams - Copper actually has all the flight feathers and coverlets that a real owl would have! Copper also has a ball[-and-]socket spine, wrapped in quilt batting to provide a sense of softness. However, I've added a step to my current project, which includes a wire ribcage as well.

Did you draw inspiration from the Harry Potter series for Copper?

Absolutely! The scene where owls were bombarding the Dursleys['] house is probably my favorite. So many different owls~ I just chose my favorite species to make first.

How long did it take you to complete the project?

Actually making him took a week, as it was my first time doing something like this.

You mentioned Copper is movable, correct? How do you move or pose him?

The ball[-and-]socket spine extends to his wings, actually, though I limited some of their flexibility so that they would hold their shape as they extend. You just pose him with your hands as you would a piece of wire, really. His neck and wings bend and turn whichever way you want - the only limitation is the seams sewn should be taken into account to not stress them.

Was there any part of the project that was particularly difficult?

The face! I sculpted his face 4 times before I found a version that I liked! Then I molded it in silicone so I can make more of him with resin! The resin is also much more durable than clay.

Do you plan on creating more creatures like Copper?

Absolutely! I’m 90% through making a female snowy owl (looks nothing like movie [H]edwig because those were all male). Up next is either a phoenix or a baby hippogryph [sic]. I do have a long-term goal of life-sized adult hippogryphs [sic] too.

What is your favorite Harry Potter book and/or movie? What is your Hogwarts House?

Honestly? A few years ago, I would say Prisoner of Azkaban but now probably Crimes of Grindelwald. There was just so much more magic and creatures shown. I’m a Hufflepuff. 🙂

 

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