The idea of using paper from wasps’ nests as the main material for some visual work occurred to me a few years ago after I glued a bit of it into a collage.
Then last summer while picking up pieces of shattered wind screen in the yard following a scrap metal collection the thought of a possible combination of these seemingly unforgiving materials began to form.
– Wasp paper with compound pieces of safety glass…
It was obvious seeing the glass lying there that it had to be placed on black to make the cracks visually effective – everything else followed.
I used boards to make three “pictures”, inevitably in relief due to the materials, their arrangement and necessary build up.
Though I made three panels, or pictures, while making the second one the obvious already announced itself: an actual wasps’ nest with windows was needed !
Naturally it would have been nice to get the wasps involved with the construction but knowing insects, free will is an even bigger issue than with people …
I had to be satisfied with their commodity, they are expert paper makers – amazing stuff.
I can’t blame the wasps then for the uneconomical shape of the first habitation. It more or less grew along the supporting branch, somewhat rambling and incongruous, not necessarily giving the visual impression of a wasps’ nest.
The two that followed are more in keeping with a sculpture or a dwelling that highly organized social insects would come up with – if they did – I imagine…
Another lesson for keeping to basics.
I used the paper from two separate wasps’ nests for these little sculptures where in one location one or more individual insects in the colony sourced the wood fiber for the paper pulp from the red painted wooden boards on a garden shed a few steps away. Thus the red streaks through the material.
As to the anticipated “unforgiving” nature of the materials, PVA was a smooth facilitator. And though I didn’t use a very big number of varying materials, mixed media describes the technique well & vague enough…
More images of wasps’ nests, mostly of details, can be found on the page “MY FRIEND WASP’S WINDOW”.