Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: found art (1)

found art (1)


a magical find in our backyard, under the magnolia tree...


looking through the scanner lens, closer


and closer, enthralled by the delicate weaving


like that of the finest master weavers...


Marja-Leena | 27/05/2007 | 15 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Nature, Photoworks


Wow! My friend found a piece of that stuff in the park a couple weeks back. They should employ wasps to make paper! :)

The striping is so beautiful. It looks like the most delicate paper mache

Oh. How really wonderful!

That is amazing. The silkworms have got nothing on those wasps! Do you know what it's made from and how they do it?

Thanks, all, for sharing my awe. The striping is what really amazed me, because wasp nests around here are usually gray. I haven't had the time to research what they're made from and how - any readers know? Dave?

Is that an unusual scanner? It is so black of background, the nest lit like a planet.


Bill, interesting that you mention 'planet' - my husband saw these before they were cropped and cleaned and thought they looked like planets and stars (there were a lot of white specks all over from fine particles).

I have a regular flat-bed scanner. When I place objects on it, I have to leave the lid up and cover with a cloth instead. Here I had to set up some books around it as a 'cage' and lay the cloth over without touching the fragile nest pieces. I need to make a box frame for this purpose.

I rather enjoy the effect of a black cloth instead of a light coloured one. Reminds me of old Dutch paintings.

What a lovely object. Their nests are made from paper produced by the wasps. They chew small amounts of wood and mix it with saliva to form a pulp which is added to the nest in thin strips. If the wood comes from different sources, like trees, reeds or garden fences, the paper is produced in different colours.

Mr Zip - thanks! I thought it might be something like that. They are amazing weavers indeed, first making their own fiber.

Great pictures, M-L.

Dave, thanks, glad you like them.

Absolutely stunning. Nature is the greatest artist ever.

Natalie, glad you agree! It's really exciting to come across these finds, especially in one's own backyard. And then to have fun with the scanner.

Beautiful! And your scans are masterful.

MB, thanks for the kind words and for visiting!