940: To Bee or not to Bee, that is a question …

For the last few months I have been working on parts of a project that will eventually be a framed collection or composition of some sort. Half of the fun is finding/developing models that suit but for this project I decided I would make paper for it also.

I started with Mark Kirschenbaum’s “Honey Bee”, primarily because it had the promise of a colour change to create contrast wings and a lovely stripey abdomen. Realising I had no suitable paper (going for a yellow/black vibe here) I laminated patterned black and yellow tissue to make a crisp double-tissue with little colour bleed. In retrospect the pattination on the black was distracting and, after going most of the way to folding a swarm I abandoned that line because the lovely detail of the bee was lost in heavy black paper patterns.

Double tissue, abandoned in favor of triple tissue laminating yellow, pink and black

Unhappy with the effect, next I tried laminating black, pink and yellow (triple tissue) – the effect was lovely – the pink stopped the black colour bleed and made the yellow a rich golden colour. Still thin and crisp, but marginally thicker, the actual folding was harder (the tyranny of scale and fat clumsy fingers) but accuracy was my savior here – hand-cutting squares from an irregular hand-made sheet is fraught with issues but I managed to cut 5 perfect (ish) squares from the sheet with nearly no wastage (I felt like a legend).

Discarded patterned folds, plus a monster test fold

Folding in batch is the way to go – complete one maneuver then repeat 5 more times made the complex model possible at this scale – tweezers and patience a must. 

The final swarm

I modified the fold in a number of places – I particularly like the rounded wings and the re-worked antennae – they should be fun to pose. I still have posing to do, and affixing to the scene but I am happy with my little swarm. It took me a while to decide on whether to do bees at all … hence the title to this post. 

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