One of my favorite book is Gaston Bachelard’s <The Poetics of Space>. In this book, there is a chapter on nests, which talks about how birds build with their entire body. A bird’s final construct is intently expressive of his whole being.
The nest we chose to build is very simple – it’s the kind of a nest that comes up to mind when I think about the word. It’s not shaped with our breasts – it’s an imitation of the act. To quote Ambroise Paré as quoted in Bachelard’s book – “…men can do everything except build a bird’s nest.” Nevertheless, building layers to construct the nest and feeling the round, comforting shape was a humble and happy experience.
The “mache-layer” that can be made with string (or torn paper) over the top of a balloon has shaping function, which one can think of as in place of a bird’s breast.
Dear thing is how excited my baby was to build a bird’s nest, and how excited he was again – looking forward to it all through the nest building – to make the eggs, of course!
- found branches
- torn paper or string
- found yard pickings or decorative moss
- flour and water
- Mix 1.5 part water and 1 part flour to make glue
- Blow up a balloon. Start building up around the balloon with string or torn paper, brushing them with the glue from step 1 as you go, until you have a bowl shape. Mine ended up being about 5 inches in diameter, but it can be smaller too. Let it dry for a few hours, until the shell feels dry to touch.
- When the mache shell is dried, pop the balloon. Start building around the shell with branches, sticking them together with hot glue.
- Line the inside with soft yard pickings or decorative moss. Since my baby wanted to make eggs, we made some with playdough to go in the nest 🙂