Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Friday, September 23, 2016
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Native Bees of North America
Native bees are an unappreciated treasure, with 4,000 species from tiny Perdita to large carpenter bees, they can be found anywhere in North America where flowers bloom. Most people don’t realize that there were no honey bees in America until the white settlers brought hives from Europe. These resourceful insects promptly managed to escape domestication, forming swarms and setting up housekeeping in hollow trees, other cavities or even exposed to the elements just as they had been doing in their native lands. Native pollinators, in particular bees, had been doing all the pollination in this continent before the arrival of that import from the Old World. They continue to do a great deal of it, especially when it comes to native plants.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
I previously made a Mason Bee nesting unit as a metal floral sculpture. It is featured in the 2016 Sculpture in the Garden exhibit at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.
Many times, it is useful to create a maquette (a 3D sketch of the intended sculpture) to aid in the visualization and design of the piece. Often, the maquette is smaller than the final sculpture. Sometimes, a full size maquette is made and also serves as a pattern for laying out the image on metal.
For this exercise, I used construction paper to create a maquette/pattern for a metal flower sculpture. I used a commercially available Mason Bee nesting unit as a size reference. It is 6.5 inches long and 3.25 inch diameter.
I used a piece of construction paper (50 x 65 cm) as the building material. I used the bee nest case to form the trumpet of the flower.
I rolled the paper around the tube to define the trumpet template.
The trumpet template was shaped with scissors.
I then secured the shape with artist's tape. The tape is basically used on the paper where welds or rivets will be used with metal.
I cut a petal and a petiol, and used them at as pattern for five more of each.
I taped the petals and petiols.
After taping on the trumpet, I shaped the petals to form a 3D maquette.
I deconstructed the maquette to lay out the intended sculpture pattern on a steel sheet. This facilitated the efficient use of valuable materials.
Monday, September 12, 2016
I just made a really simple Mason Bee nesting unit.
You can make these with 2x4 or 2x6 planks of wood. I used a 2x4 for this prototype because it is easier to manipulate. I cut the 2x4 into various lengths using my band say. You can easily use a good hand saw. It is just as easy.
I cut a 1x2 plank to equivalent sizes.
I measured and marked for holes 1 inch apart, and used a punch to start the holes.
Using a 7/16 in wood bit, I drilled holes with a hand held drill. If you have a drill press available, It is a lot easier to get nice parallel holes.
I used a circular file to clean out the holes.
I cut a variety of block sizes.
I cut 5 by 5 inch pieces of parchment paper. You can get it in your supermarket. I rolled in around a standard pencil. The resulting tube is 5/16 in in interior diameter.
I inserted the paper tubes into the holes in the 2x4s.
The paper tubes will be secured with the 1x2 pieces using wood screws.
Now, I will continue to roll and insert the paper tubes into my 2x4 pieces.
There are myriad ways to use these units. How would you make and utilize these units?
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Friday, September 9, 2016
Wondering what exactly MakNet is? We are Carolina’s Maker Network, and our goal is to create a network of makers: people interested in making, well, anything! We bring together people interested in art, philosophy, computer science, biomedical engineering, and pretty much any major here at UNC, and connect them with the resources needed to imagine, design, and create. Learn all about MakNet