Tag Archives: cicada art

Insect Art: Glitter cicada with holographic vinyl!

3D printer pen jeweled cicada by Suzanne Forbes Mar 21 2020Made with a 3D Printer pen I got from my mom-in-law for Christmas!

I broke out the 3D printing pen last week! It’s basically a glue gun that takes different colors of PLA filament. It came with fifteen colors. I used seven colors, darker ones on the bottom and going brighter towards the top layers.


This is the naked filament armature.

Then I took a ratty brush and painted the whole thing with blue-violet interference paint. You can see other posts about acrylic interference paint, which I started using in 1990, here.

3D printer pen cicada by Suzanne Forbes Mar 21 2020 rt wing detailThe last batch of art supplies I ordered from the UK, back in the other world that was February, was glitter, holographic, iridescent and metallic vinyls and pvcs.

I’ve been feeling a thirst to work with transparent and tinted clear materials the past month.My assortment of sparkly sheets arrived the second week of March. I cut small triangles of the holo pvc, applied glue to the edges, then attached them to the back of the filament “struts”. I filled in other spaces with scraps of textured lavender iridescent vinyl, some dark blue glitter vinyl I had left from my mermaid corset project in 2012, metallic blue pvc, and transparent blue glitter “jelly” vinyl.

Glitter vinyl cicada by Suzanne Forbes March 20 2020“Jelly” vinyl is a thick, tinted vinyl, often full of glitter, foil stars, etc.

I covered most of the back with some actual trash – scraps of clear plastic cut from packaging, metallic blue plastic foil from the cat food packets. The glue I’m using is UHU Alleskleber in the Flinke Flasche (“nimble bottle”), which has solvents; in the US I’d use Gem-Tac. I left some areas open, and drizzled glue across others, then added decorations.

3D printer pen cicada by Suzanne Forbes Mar 21 2020 front windowI used microbeads, Swarovski crystals, opalescent rhinestones, iridescent rhinestones, glass pearls, clear rainbow micropearls, and glitter to decorate it.

3D printer pen cicada by Suzanne Forbes Mar 21 2020 libraryIt took about a week to finish all the decorating.

I find working with sparkly materials like this to be a kind of ASMR, deeply soothing and meditative.

During this really unprecedented time, when my husband and I are safe but I am so acutely aware of the danger to so many others, I don’t know what to do but make pretty.

I hope you enjoy the sparkle!