Blog Hops

Art Elements Theme Challenge – Nests

Today it’s the reveal of our new Art Elements Theme challenge. If you missed it, team members and guests can create anything that they like in any medium, using the theme for inspiration. This month the challenge was hosted by Cathy Mendola, and for our first one, she chose nests…. A brilliant subject!! 

I came up with loads of ideas of what I wanted to make… too many to know where to make a start so I put the challenge to one side while I got on with other things. As the month progressed I started playing around with automata and that’s when I decided I wanted to make a moving scene. I thought of bird’s nests, animal nests and eventually settled on a bee’s nest. Spring is here and we’ve had a couple of just above freezing days with sunshine so it’s got me thinking to the garden coming back to life.

We used to keep bees when I was little and I remember my Mum, dressed in all her gear smoking the hive and collecting their honey. I’d love to keep them again… There’s something peaceful about buzzy bees!

I went for a skep design for their nest, it was lathe turned from spalted beech and mounted on a mystery (it came in a box of blanks) wood base, both polished with bees wax (of course). The base was hollowed out on the inside to hold the mechanism. 

It took me all day to work out how to create the insides. You need to be good at geometry for making cogs and my brain isn’t wired up for maths, so it took a bit of trial and error before I got it working smoothly. 

The bees were made from polymer clay with vellum wings, and painted with acrylic stripes and smiley faces. 


Here’s a short clip of them coming in to land…


They crack me up whizzing round… they look like they’re having a great time!

Thanks to Cathy for her fantastic inspiration for the challenge. I’ve had great fun creating for it! I’m in the middle of making another inspired by the theme, but unfortunately didn’t get it finished in time for the reveal. I’ll post that one when it’s done!

But for now, I hope you’ll take part in the blog hop to see what everyone else has made for the challenge. Follow the links below to join in….


Guest Participants-
 AE team members-
Caroline << You are here.


16 thoughts on “Art Elements Theme Challenge – Nests

  1. Gosh, I am so impressed by the new direction of your work and the bee hive with the bees you created is so adorable! Just wow! 🙂

  2. Oh my gosh! I love this so much. The bees are simply the best. And what a fun coincidence our processes took us in similar directions, toward bees and away from birds.

  3. OH MY GOSH! You continue to blow me away with your wood turning techniques as well as your automaton knowledge. What a fabulous nest project you have created.

  4. The bees are so adorable, and they do look like they’re having a wonderful time! I love this automaton, and look forward to seeing your adventures with automata.

  5. OMG, this is so so cute! Fantastic contraption that is also very beautiful to look at

  6. Haha, so much fun! There are huge fuzzy bees here called carpenter bees, and your bees remind me of their fuzzy bumblyness. They do look like they’re having a great time!

  7. OMG. Could this be any cuter?? I don’t think so! Love your happy bees! Sorry to be hopping so very late.

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