I made this mantis using a green floral wire armature, then layers of green and yellow filament from my 3D printer pen.
The 3D printer pen filament helped to bulk out and define the structure, while still letting light through.
I like using the pen because it is fast and dirty construction, which suits my essential nature. I also used a piece of pretty green metallic foil I had saved from a package or something to fill out the mantis’s butt.
I strung the beads, crystals and pearls on fine gauge colored craft wire that I looped in and out of the wire armature.
About halfway into the beading I started stabilizing the bead strands with blobs of green-tinted UV resin!
This was during the very intense August heat wave in Berlin, so I was hanging out in the library with my husband in the air-conditioning. I used both the sunlight coming in the window and my high-powered nail artist’s uv lamp to cure the resin.
Because UV resin cures almost instantly in sunlight, I could sit out on our balcony dripping and dropping blobs of resin all over the armature, creating transparent structure and threads of color. It was very hot, but I figure it was good to get the vitamin D in.
The first summer we were here, I had very limited art materials. I had a sketchbook, pencils and pens, and the embroidery materials and fabric that Beloved Friend-Muse-Patron Eva Galperin bought me at the craft store at the mall at Stadtmitte.
(See making of the Giant Alien Venus Flytrap, seen above, here!) So I had green tulle left over from when I made the jewelled mantis that summer of 2015, and I used it to cover the floral wire wing shapes, attaching it with UV resin.
It is faster than superglue/CA in direct sunlight, and you can use an instantly hardening bolus of it as a base to hold something steady. In the mantis post from 2015 I talk a lot about my lifelong obsession with transparent mediums, and my frustration with the ones available. Which is funny because I have now found a transparent material I really love working with at last!
Autumn is here and Winter is coming,
So the resin drip art will be ending til next year. We don’t get enough sunlight to make Vitamin D or cure UV resin in the winters here! That’s ok, I have plenty of other weird insect art projects in the pipeline 🙂
The other articulated mantis sculpture is here.