ephemera: paper items that were originally meant to be discarded after use but have since become collectibles

Created to be used for just one season, these paper nests have become one of my collectible artifacts from nature. I'm working to gather enough to transform these into one sheet of paper on which I can create a very rare, one of a kind artwork featuring one of the images.

I’ve heard of a book that is floating out there somewhere (perhaps one copy in a Swedish library) that houses paper experiments created by Jacob Schaffer in the 1700′s. Supposedly, one the pages in a volume was created with wasp nest materials after Schaffer noticed that these winged insects were essentially doing what humans were attempting to do at the time, but with much greater success. This was during a time when newspapers and books were being produced in great numbers and, along with wartime needs, rags made of plant-based fibers were in high demand, forcing alternative papermaking methods during shortages.

Wasps make their nests by mixing sawdust with saliva and when you look closely, you can see dozens of paper strips pressed into each other to create one short-lived masterpiece.