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More Recycled Birds

January 9, 2018

Amazing. Where did 2017 go? I have been making work like crazy, but somehow not posting about it. Time to catch up!


Finders Keepers

After the Zeitgeist show at Hillyer Arts Space (now International Arts and Artists at Hillyer – IA&A at Hillyer), I kept on making birds. The larger forms I started making, including the crow for the Zeitgeist show, took a back seat to an explosion of smaller birds.

img_3257I participated in the Maker Faire Northern Virginia in late March, where I presented an exhibit called Spinning Straw into Gold – Making Art with Upcycled Materials in which I showed how to make small bird bodies using a toilet paper roll and a postcard (plus tape). After spending 8 hours making the same form over and over again, I had figured out how subtle variations in the structure created a good range of character. I had a great time working with visitors as young as 5 years old, explaining the magic of transforming simple shapes – a cylinder and a rectangle – into a complex, recognizable form.


Japanese and Korean paper is wonderfully soft and easy to apply to the 3D forms – I rarely break my rule of reusing materials, even these outer coverings.

For the rest of the spring and summer, I experimented with different kinds of paper coverings, including wrapping papers, candy and cookie packaging, and catalogues.

I also decided to expand past paper into other found materials that might challenge the viewer a bit more, as they figure out what they are looking at: rose petals and hornet nest “paper.”

I am continuing to experiment with new outer materials, and I am drifting back toward larger forms as well. Longer-term plans include placing the birds in more complicated contexts, like Finders Keepers, including building a chopstick nest for another chopstick wrapper bird.


The adventure continues!




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