Friday, April 17, 2015

nest making

Back when I had not long completed and handed in my dissertation last year, I was getting back into the garden after it had suffered through a year of neglect. One of the projects, which ended up as an exercise in therapeutic making, was to create a fence around the sewer manhole in the back corner of the yard. It was accessed by the water board a couple of times in the last few years when they were relining the network of pipes, but had been covered by at least a couple of feet of soil and mulch. I hadn't even realised it was there! We considered different approaches to keep the manhole clear - we were thinking a brick wall at one stage. However, for a long time I have wanted to try Tino's technique for building a herb bed, and it suddenly occurred to me that this could be a great solution.

I had some hardwood stakes leftover from edging the veggie garden beds so I started by hammering these in around the manhole after clearing off the thick covering of rapidly gathered debris. Nearby is a big, old, and very rampant buddleia bush that needed hacking back - again. The long canes were perfect for weaving around the stakes to create the basket-like wall.

This is a beautiful, engrossing, process - I feel the quality of the material (the buddleia canes) as I bend it them the required shape. I listen to its feedback as it responds to my hand. I'm being 'taught' by the material, as it tells me the way it wants to go. I don't always get it right - bits break and pieces need repositioning - but the made form is forgiving and it accepts the messiness of added and re-layered pieces. I thought I was making a giant basket, but as variable making pervades, the more tousled form is unmistakably nest-like, and I realise, I am making a lovely human-sized nest!

More on how this nest has been going later... there have been other nests in the meantime. I've always viewed plant material as valuable - my dad always said to never let anything organic leave your property - but this value goes beyond just chopping up the prunings to become mulch.

A couple of weeks ago at Easter time I made some nests to house eggs for the nieces...

And for the more eggs for the in-laws...

A nest for us with Easter offerings, now nicely mounted on our front door...

And this week, a nest for our gorgeous neighbours to pop their business cards in. This weekend they are embarking on an amazing new business venture - 'pressing provenance' - serving up stylish toasties at local farmer's markets. Best of luck for the opening at Substation Farmer's Market, Newport and looking forward to enjoying a delicious toastie!

No comments:

Post a Comment