One of the categories in the Mountain Regional State Fair is Natural Materials. This one is always a challenge to use items found on our property, created by nature, in a project. This summer, a Carolina Wren built a nest in a little bucket on the veranda and then abandoned it when DH was painting the boards. Good thing it did, as I really don’t want a nest of baby birds to work around, and I certainly didn’t want their eggs to be destroyed.
Carefully lifting it out of the little bucket, it was so delicate and fragile, but so artfully made. It had twigs and leaves with moss and lichen woven in.
I got out one of the remaining wood slices DH did for me when a tree fell last year to see if the bird nest would fit on it, and it was just the right size.
I cut a hydrangea bloom and hung it upside down in the craft workroom to dry for about a week. Before it lost all its color, I sprayed it with varnish to try to preserve some of that color.
Using hot glue, the bird nest was fixed to the wood slice base. I gave it a light coat of clear spray varnish to help stabilize the little bits.
The bloom was too large to use whole, so I cut sections from it to glue separately.
I glued them in a diagonal line from front to back, covering a bit of a bare spot in back.
With the flowers attached, I sprayed the entire piece with clear coat to hold it all together.
Now it needed an egg. Have you ever done the blow out trick with a real egg? I know my mother did this when I was a kid, poking little holes in the ends of the eggs, then blowing the yolks out with her own breath. It took forever, and was very difficult. I thought DH might burst a blood vessel when he tried it this way. He then thought he had a better way, and he was absolutely right. First, he used a drill with a 3/32 wood bit, and gently created the holes in the ends. The same bit was used to poke around inside and break up the yolk.
Then he put a rubber tube over the end of his air compressor that he uses to pump up the tires, and held it against the egg to create a seal. Then, he blew the yolk out in just a minute.
The inside was rinsed, and left to dry out for a couple of days. Then, I gave it a mottled look with yellow and lavendar spray paints.
Nestled into the nest, the art project is ready to enter at the fair.
Here’s the side view.
The back view.
Overall I am happy with it. It is still so delicate and fragile, I hope I can get it to the fair and entered without destroying it in transport. We’ll see!!
Have you made an art project with natural materials?
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