Paper Snowflakes
By Veronica Kittle and

Started on: 05/22/13 20:25:32
Medium: Visual

For my main collaboration with my bird, Poca, I've chosen to work with her to create paper "snowflakes". I came up with the idea when I was thinking about Poca's favorite things to do. One of her favorite hobbies is to chew on anything and everything. Cockatiels in general love to chew on things. They chew on hard substances such as kettle bone in part to sharpen their beaks, and also because it feels good. So the first step of this project was to cut out a small paper circle. I then folded it twice and held it in front of her to chew on. She chew on some of the corners and edges, and when I opened it up, there was a chewed out design on the paper circle, similar to a paper snowflake. And just like all snowflakes are supposedly unique, each of these paper snowflakes will also be unique, since she never chews the same pattern twice. I then cut out a small paper square and folded it twice. Instead of holding it in front of her to chew, I actually just stuck the paper in her cage for her to chew on. This worked just as well as holding it out for her. The final step is to unfold the paper and place it in between two textbooks in order to flatten it. I've been trying for the past week to hold the pieces of folded paper in front of her, but I think I may have been too demanding, since she seemed to start feeling threatened by the little white shapes I kept shoving in front of her face. So now I've just resulted to sticking a bunch of little paper shapes inside her cage for her to chew on. This has worked very well so far, and it has produced the fastest results, because she she likes to spend time in all parts of her cage, so she can chew on several pieces of paper all relatively quickly. I found that I do have to take them out after a few hours because she has chewed a few in half.

For the final show of this class, I plan on hanging the snowflakes to beams in the ceiling of the gallery. I will use little strings, maybe even something really thin like thread, to hang them. So far I've only been using white paper to make the snowflakes, in part because that's all I have, and also because I think they resemble snowflakes more this way. I was considering using several different bright colors to make the display more colorful, but I think I'm leaning towards keeping them white. I also have tried making a few different sizes for snowflakes, but the really large ones take so much more chewing, it slows down the process, so I will likely keep them all similar sizes. This collaboration has so far been progressing very nicely. It has for the most part been going according to plan, and I'm looking forward to hang the different shaped paper snowflakes in the gallery.

Poca chewing on the paper in her cage

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