Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gifts for the Birds

Here are some images from a workshop I did this morning on presenting nesting materials for the birds. You've probably noticed that the chickadees and crows are plucking up pieces of straw and twigs for building their nests. We made cornucopia free-form weaving sculptures to present the birds with wool.

I've been storing up natural materials in my porch for this project--some soft woolly lamb's ears leaves, lavender, amaranth twigs, fennel and hops. In fact I saw a sparrow in my hops plant today trying to free some of the dried vines.

Amaranth seeds will also provide a nice snack for some lucky birds.

All the yarn is 100 per cent wool. I also bought some raw sheep's wool to show the students how soft it is and perfect for cuddling those fragile eggs.

Some of the weaving was very delicate. The next step is to drape loose threads less than 8 inches long through the weaving so the birds can pull those out.

Here's one stuffed with raw wool.

We also deconstructed some old wool sweaters with large holes in them. (These weren't the kind you can felt.) What better way to give them a new life than to help them continue the life cycle of our song birds.

I also showed the students photos of the incredible bower birds who have an elaborate mating ritual that involves the male making a beautiful installation to attract a mate.

The male bower birds sort berries and flowers into piles to tempt the females. So we had fun creating little mini bower bird installations.

Eh voila! You can tie these into a tree for the birds to discover and pull out the stuffing. Try to hang them out of reach of the neighborhood cats!

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