Updated: May 12, 2021
I've continued working and experimenting with wasp paper. I'm drawn to the colors and stripes and textures; the way it speaks of trees and time; awestruck by the creations of these insects. I love covering human creations with it; it's like nature taking it back. Like wrapping sticks with yarn, it reveals something new about a familiar shape. This maple syrup bottle took forever! The nest I used was very brittle but beautifully colorful and full of curvy shapes. I really like how it came out. It looks as if it were carved from wood, doesn't it? It feels really nice in your hands.
I like playing with the idea of paper, too. How we use paper to convey ideas and stories. Words on paper. Maybe the wasp paper is doing the same thing? Juxtaposing messages. For "A Strange, Strange Time" I pulled words and phrases from junk mail and old books I've been sourcing for projects.
I continued playing with these ideas with "Free Thought." The pages come from an old book I found at a garage sale, "The Catholic's Ready Answer," 1914. It purports to have the answers for such vexing modern-day questions as evolution, socialism, labor unions, divorce, equality, god's existence and oh so much more. This wasp nest was very light and fine-textured, with an elegant light and dark patterning that reminded me a lot of calligraphy. I think the wasps are writing their own answers.
And here's a message I channeled from nature. "Dark Mirror."
Wasps abandon their nests for the winter. Most of the colony dies, and the queen hunkers down under bark or someplace else safe till it warms up, when she starts a new colony and they build anew. If you come across an abaondoned nest (without pesticides, please!), send me an email, because I've got lots more ideas I'd like to try!