A few weeks ago my next door neighbor called to tell me she had a swarm of bees in her backyard. After talking to a bee expert, we learned that the bees were seeking a new hive and had chosen her “very warm”rock wall as a temporary home.
By the second day, they had moved up into a nearby crevice. Each day, half the swarm would leave for food and to seek a new location while the rest would stay and protect the queen as well as make a honeycomb.
After a few days, all the bees left. They left behind the most beautiful, pristine, white honeycomb. They must not have had time to fill it with honey. We marveled at the perfection of each individual honeycomb, perfect in size.
It was my neighbor/friend’s birthday and I wanted to create a special present for her. I was considering creating a painting but then while outside I noticed that the honeycomb was starting to wear. Small parts were crumbling on the outer edges and it was starting to become loose.
I wanted to preserve this gift from nature for her. She happened to be away on a trip for a couple of weeks so I was able to gently remove the honeycomb and work on creating a way to display it indoors.
I decided to create a polymer base that looked like a pebbled spot of ground. I rolled out black polymer clay in my pasta machine (only used for polymer) to soften it and then began building the sculpture base pebble by pebble.
I then added in two long metal pins before baking the clay in the oven.
One of the most important aspects of the sculpture was the glass cover. I spent two weeks searching around the city for the perfect piece of glass. I would take the honeycomb with me in a box so I could hold it inside the glass and see if it was a good fit. I finally found a Polish hand-blown rectangular glass vase. It was stunning, it was beautiful…it was REALLY surprisingly heavy.
I very gently attached the honeycomb to the clay/pin base and then inverted the vase and placed it over the top. I had the keys to my friend’s house while she was away so I was able to leave this for her as a surprise once she arrived back home.
I am in awe of nature’s beauty. I know my friend an I both felt amazed by the gift the bees had left.
Seeing the light shine through the honeycomb, seeing each individual, perfectly made section is a meditation in itself. We live in such a beautiful world. Bringing nature inside is a wonderful way to fill your home with art and share a gift with a friend.