Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Renewed Respect for the Humble Bee - Part 1

Or another title is "Boy, am I glad I'm working in paper clay!"

My current project has me making honey comb cells around a pod shaped interior. As the work progressed, I remarked to myself how naturally and efficiently the honey bees make this structure. By contrast, I struggled with keeping the hexagonal 6-sided forms; sometimes I had to make 5-sided instead. Of course, bees have been doing this for eons and this was my 2nd week on this project.

I had some trouble separating the two halves from the pod form, mainly because I did not use enough scrap paper as cushioning material. In the end, I had to sacrifice my paper clay pod mold to extricate my two halves. In the process, several of the sides broke and this was one of many instances I was so glad I was working in paper clay. Repairing the breaks was routine using dry on dry joining techniques. Eventually, everything was put back together and the two halves checked for fit. Other adjustments had to be made using the same dry on dry joining. No other clay affords me this peace of mind and flexibility.

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