Artist Offers Her Work to Bees for an Unlikely Creative Collaboration With the Insects

Mixed Media Honeycomb by Ava Roth

“Burr Comb and Twigs,” natural honeycomb, burr comb, Japanese paper, encaustic medium, twigs, seed beads, embroidery floss in Canadian maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches.

Toronto-based artist Ava Roth demonstrates the collaborative potential of honeybees in her amazing mixed-media art. The ongoing series entitled Honeycomb Collection features a dynamic combination of Roth’s hand embroidery, encaustic medium, found objects, and natural honeycomb created by bees.

The artist begins by stitching her designs onto Japanese paper. After that, she adds a variety of local items such as porcupine quills, burr comb, tulip tree leaves, and rose quartz. Once she is done, Roth turns her creation over to a colony of bees who quickly frame her handiwork with richly textured honeycombs.

Merging natural materials with those that are handmade is a crucial part of the series. However, in contrast to her older work, which used store-bought embroidery hoops to contain the stitched element, Roth’s newest pieces feature custom-made inner and outer maple frames built by woodworker Bernoel Dela Vega. “Each piece requires some kind of border that separates my work from the bees’ work,” Roth says. “This (change) has allowed me to experiment with different sizes and shapes and has helped to make every aspect of my work hand (or bee) crafted.”

These frames are also intended to mimic the dimensions of Langstroth hives, which are the typical man-made hives used in beekeeping. “I recognize that Langstroth hives are not a natural habitat for bees, but neither are most of the spaces that humans find themselves occupying right now,” Roth continues. “Ultimately, this project is about exploring the ways in which humans collide with the natural environment today and finding ways to make making something beautiful from this specific time and place.” She hopes her beautiful art will inspire more people to take steps to help save the bees.

Scroll down to see some of Roth’s latest pieces. You can purchase Roth’s mixed media art through her website and keep up to date with her via Instagram.

Canadian artist Ava collaborates with bees in mixed-media art.

Mixed Media Honeycomb by Ava Roth

Detail of “Burr Comb and Twigs,” natural honeycomb, burr comb, Japanese paper, encaustic medium, twigs, seed beads, embroidery floss in Canadian maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches.

Mixed Media Honeycomb by Ava Roth

“Tulip Tree Leaf and French Knots,” natural honeycomb, Japanese paper, encaustic medium, tulip tree leaf, embroidery floss in Canadian Maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches.

Mixed Media Honeycomb by Ava Roth

“Rose Quartz and Porcupine Quills,” natural honeycomb, Japanese paper, encaustic medium, rose quartz, porcupine quills, embroidery floss in Canadian maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches.

Mixed Media Honeycomb by Ava Roth

Detail of “Rose Quartz and Porcupine Quills,” natural honeycomb, Japanese paper, encaustic medium, rose quartz, porcupine quills, embroidery floss in Canadian maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches.

Mixed Media Honeycomb by Ava Roth

“Beaded Circle,” natural honeycomb, Japanese paper, encaustic medium, thread, gold seed beads in Canadian maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches.

Mixed Media Honeycomb by Ava Roth

“Twigs and French Knots,” natural honeycomb, Japanese paper, encaustic medium, embroidery floss in Canadian maple frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches.

Mixed Media Honeycomb by Ava Roth

“Porcupine quills, Green and Gold,” encaustic, Japanese tissue, porcupine quills, seed beads and thread in an embroidery hoop, embedded in honeycomb, Langstroth hive frame, 17.5 x 17.5 inches.

Ava Roth: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Ava Roth.

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READ: Artist Offers Her Work to Bees for an Unlikely Creative Collaboration With the Insects

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