The Secret Heart

The Secret Heart is an encaustic mixed media assemblage piece by Bridgette Guerzon Mills
Bridgette Guerzon Mills | The Secret Heart, encaustic mixed media, 13×7 inches

Many years ago I did my first piece using a paper wasp nest in my work called In All Things. I have also used the paper from the outer shell of the nest in my work as well, specially in my book art pieces. From my quick online research, paper wasp nests are not encased. When you see the dome hanging from a branch that is usually the nest of a hornet or yellow jacket. I guess I am just fascinated by these master creators. It’s just amazing to me that they take wood or bark and chew it into a pulp to create the paper and structure of their nests. I remember the first time I opened one up and I was just amazed by the geometrical perfection and the spirals of the combs. Beautiful! I wanted to feature this wondrous creation in this piece. I first thought about cutting it into blocks like I had done in that original piece that I posted above. But the perfect circle spiral is something I wanted to make sure to share. I built this box frame that fit the circular shape perfectly and then added my encaustic piece.

I do not go out and gather the nests. I have always been gifted abandoned nests from various people. Grateful to people who remember me and that I appreciate such earthy gifts.

The other week I was at my son’s soccer game and it was hot and there was a garbage can near the stands filled with gooey, sticky, sugary, leftovers of processed food. And around them were wasps, who of course, found their way towards people in the stands also eating said sugary foods. The teens were freaking out. Which is understandable. But I wanted to tell them, just be still, they are just curious. But no- there was a lot of screaming and running and general mayhem. So much havoc caused by such tiny creatures. It provided entertainment in addition to the game, and luckily no one was hurt. Humans or wasps.

When I sat down to process my photo of this piece and write a little something up I searched for poems about wasps and their nests and there are so many good ones. It shouldn’t surprise me I suppose. Their creations are astounding and also humans have a healthy fear of them. Awe and fear.

Here’s a link to one called The Mud Dauber Wasp by Rhonda Marrone that I liked.

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