Tag Archives: beaded bug

West Berlin mantis party redux, five years later!

UV resin and 3d printer pen mantis by Suzanne Forbes sept 30 2020My UV resin experiments just continue to get wilder.

I made this mantis using a green floral wire armature, then layers of green and yellow filament from my 3D printer pen.

3d printer pen and UV resin Mantis Work in Progress by Suzanne ForbesThe 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.

3d printer pen and UV resin Mantis Work in Progress by Suzanne Forbes 2Then I started wiring thousands of green glass beads all over it.

I strung the beads, crystals and pearls on fine gauge colored craft wire that I looped in and out of the wire armature.

3d printer pen and UV resin Mantis Work in Progress by Suzanne Forbes 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.

3d printer pen and UV resin Mantis Work in Progress by Suzanne Forbes I needed more sunlight to make the drips, though!

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.

UV resin and 3d printer pen mantis by Suzanne Forbes sept 30 2020I made the wings using florists wire and some green glitter tulle I got five years ago.

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.

UV resin and 3d printer pen mantis and alien venus flytrap by Suzanne Forbes sept 30 2020Of course, I keep every scrap of everything.

(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.

UV resin and 3d printer pen mantis by Suzanne Forbes face sept 30 2020I attached the wings and antenna with UV resin, because it is an amazing adhesive.

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!

UV resin and 3d printer pen mantis by Suzanne Forbes 1 sept 30 2020Finishing this mantis on the balcony today, I could really feel the difference in the sun.

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.

Is this prettiest creepy thing I’ve ever made? I think so!

Suzanne Forbes beaded beetle August 2016I’ve been pretty much reeling with exhaustion after the sprint to finish (95%!) the house for the party, so I haven’t done that much art this month.

Suzanne Forbes beaded beetle August 2016I opted to ease back in with bead embroidery, which is the most pleasurable creative work imaginable to me.

Painting a portrait for me feels like a mix of a final exam you’re decently prepared for, a job interview ( I like job interviews though), a workout-to-exhaustion with weights, and learning to rollerskate (which I have not succeeded in).

Making a drawing varies from feeling like going to the office midway through a tough project that you have a good handle on, with co-workers you like, to going to the gym for aerobic exercise (which I hate doing but never regret having done).

Bead embroidery is like a cross between eating a delicious black-currant mousse cake and getting a back rub.

Suzanne Forbes beaded beetle August 2016I’d say it’s my version of smoking pot, except I quit smoking pot when I was fourteen because it did NOT agree with me- I fall in the very paranoid from thc camp. After the very, very bad month I had in July with PTSD and nightmares, I needed soothing art-making, and this project delivered.

I’m thrilled with how the flourishes of beadwork on the sides came out- I foresee quite a foray in this direction.

This one is not for sale, as I chose the colors specially for the salon, using the very last scrap of lime velvet from Aimee‘s grandma’s garage, but I could easily (and pleasurably) make similar ones, in the color themes of your choice.