Monday, February 6, 2012

More Clay Nests

Just finished more of the 100 clay nests. These nests are created using scrap clay that my students have finished with. We don't have a pug mill at my school so reworking clay is super labour intensive and the children never do as well with reworked clay, so I decided to use the scrap throw away clay to make these nests rather than rework it.  I found things to make nests with, similar to what a bird does. However, working with dried up, overworked clay is less than relaxing or easy. I guess the same goes for a bird, they have to work with what hits the ground. I even scraped clay from the classroom floor for these nests. The rolling of worms with dry clay can be exasperating at best.

My goal is 100 nests as an exercise in production and the link to our currency. In current times it seems that producing more is better than producing quality. Trust me, some of the nests lack some quality.  As I worked on this self inflicted stress I realized the nests of various shapes, sizes and quality definitely replicates our world where some homes are just nicer visually than others. I had many real bird nests as models for the nests so there are various types of nest design.  I also realized while in the bushes looking for nests that not all nests are wonderfully created, each bird has their own way of doing it. My son joked that the lady bird might be giving her mate grief because the nest is not turning out right and the male bird had represented to her that her could build etc etc.

The exercise of making these also makes me think of  the marginal productivity curve which my daughter explained to me. She explained that the quality of the nests would vary based on many external inputs.

A marginal productivity curve is one that graphically illustrates the relation between marginal product and the quantity of the variable input, holding all other inputs fixed. This curve indicates the incremental change in output at each level of a variable input. The marginal product curve is one of three related curves used in the analysis of the short-run production of a firm. The other two are total product curve and average product curve. The marginal product curve plays in key role in the economic analysis of short-run production by a firm. 

The nests measure in size from 4 cm to 15 cm across.