Stuck for nature-based things to do in miserable grey January? Get out on a dry day with some secateurs and a bag and harvest some dried stems, fallen bark, seedheads…then back at base have a play glueing them to a piece of hardboard or canvas to create textural worlds of winter sensuality….try contrasting opposites such as hard bark or stems with soft feathery seedheads…
Here I used strong pliers to clip off the pine scales as near the base as possible, and shake out the seeds which can be eaten! or used as another part of the collage, with their beautiful pearlescent wings. I started using evil smelling chemical glue, then felt bad about the environment so switched to PVA which works just as well! this is just hardboard from a DIY store which I prepared with acrylic paint.
Try cutting stems to produce delicate, structural cross sections such as this Reedmace stem, with its natural foam for buoyancy, or stem pieces built up into a honeycomb of different lengths and textures. I haven’t finished a lot of these so will put more pics up when they are done!
Last but not least, weave in some basketry techniques to create some geometrical effects. The world is your oyster! I’m going to try using dried bracket fungus next. And yes, do make sure everything is bone dry before using or you may get a moving, evolving picture of mycology and mildew…which is fascinating but messy and smelly.
i used miscanthus heads in this for the fluff!