Pine and Spruce Beetles
Pleasing Fungus Beetles
Weevils and Snout Beetles
The process begins with mixing colors.
Using a pasta machine two or more colors are repeatedly rolled together until well blended. Though I match color with whatever
source I am using be it a photo or a drawing those sources themselves may not be accurate. If the beetle I am attempting to match
has no color pattern on the elytra then I proceed to shape the various body parts.
If there is a pattern then rather than making
one of that particular species I will do a series. The pattern in the elytra is produced by a method whereby rods of various colors
are stacked one on the other such that when viewed from the end the desired pattern is visible. The shape of the elytra is also built
up in this way. Two slices are taken from the cane and folded apart yielding two identical elytra.
These are laid upon the abdomen
and smoothed with a finger tip. Rows of punctures, striae or any other textures are then pressed into the two halves with an
old dissection tool. Next comes the scutellum, thorax and protenum, then the head with eyes and jaws. Legs are then rolled out, cut to
length and mounted on pin. The body is then placed the legs and legs folded to a natural position. Lastly the wire antennae are
inserted and any metallic coating applied.
Baking for a half hour cures the polymer into a solid. The antennae are then trimmed to
length and a coating of plastic applied to the ends. Several coats on the ends can build up a clubbed antennae. Finally a coating of wax
applied and the insect buffed.
The frame sides are cut to order and assembled at a local frame shop. Back at the studio the glass is bonded into the frame with a
clear silicon caulking. The backs are then cut to fit the frame. Handmade paper is then mounted to the backing board. To place the
beetles and labels I lay out a grid of threads to aid in placement. The labels and beetles are then glued to the backing board
which is then screwed to the
frame. A framed grouping might be anything; species within a family, beetles related by locale, crop pests or just visual interest.
Interested parties may chose their own grouping from any of the beetles on the gallery page.