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Resin, Wax & Owls, Oh My!

June 21, 2014


Friday I had a fun field trip south. First stop was at Queen Bee Honey, a local apiary. Their bee boxes travel around the mid-valley utilizing clover, meadow foam, and other fields for honey production.  Many boxes spend time around Brownsville and yes, even Halsey! That’s why I want the local stuff! My mission was to purchase wax, but in addition to the wax I received a wonderful tour of their facilities. A big thanks to Karen for hooking me up with so much beautiful wax. Interestingly, the honey harvested is consumed locally: restaurants and breweries being some of the biggest purchasers. If you would like a taste, they sell bottles at the Corvallis Farmers Market. Below is my 22# block of wax:

wax block

Karen also passed along a lobe of wax. She explained that in the wild, the bees create multiple lobes inside tree trunks (or other locations) to store honey. Lots of interesting history to look into.

wax lobe

Looking more closely:


Next stop was Carol & Harry’s farm. Carol has been working on encasing vole bones in resin. And no, she isn’t out lopping off vole heads. The owls do all the work: owls are unable to digest the bones, skin and fur so they regurgitate it all up in a nice pellet form. Kind of like a cat hacking up a giant fur ball.  Anyway, outside the studio we examined dead remains from a mystery rodent (dropped by the owls or kestrels nesting on site). It’s always difficult to identify a dead critter by one hind leg plus a bit of fur.We guessed it was a Pack Rat. Below is one of the juvenile Barn Owls taking a look at me. They are already flying, but still use the box during the day. You can see it’s heart-shaped face in the round door opening.


Along with the nature tour and bird watching, I received a multitude of snow peas, kale, and a beautiful onion. Oh, and a huge box of old dress/shirt patterns! The paper will become part of the camas project.


While I was off doing all this, the dogs were graciously greeting the FedEx guy. Yes, the Damar Resin has arrived! I now have a 5# bag of rocks that are supposed to melt.


Saturday is a bit too busy, so I’ll be cooking up a batch of encaustic wax on Suday. Outside. On the side burner of the gas grill. Did I mention the fumes are toxic?

My glue is expected to arrive on Wednesday. Things are really coming together!



6 Comments leave one →
  1. Rebecca Harkey permalink
    June 21, 2014 10:26 am

    Amazing as usual! Great to see the process from far away!

    • paperstew permalink*
      June 21, 2014 6:37 pm

      you all would have liked the bee keepers. It was a very fun experience, but lots of bees flying around everywhere. 🙂

  2. June 22, 2014 3:16 pm

    All of these raw materials are so beautiful. You’re not secretly becoming wiccan are you?! (Smile)

    • paperstew permalink*
      June 22, 2014 5:03 pm

      Nope. Somehow I end up brewing something interesting for the installation works. First year it was the walnut brew. This year bees wax…. Always something new!

  3. June 23, 2014 4:23 am

    Looks like things are looking up, what a lot of interesting ingredients you have to play with. Enjoy yourself. Karen

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