Tag Archives: contemporary crafts

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.

Flower Mantis Embroidery Art!

flower mantis embroidery by Suzanne Forbes September 30 2020This is a new approach for me, embroidery-wise.

I decided from the go to cover the entire surface of this piece in embroidery, rather than using the background color of the fabric as part of the composition.

flower mantis embroidery by Suzanne Forbes work in progress 1For fabric I used the voluminous white muslin gown that came with my Sideshow Bride of Frankenstein doll.

I’ve been cutting it up and using it for years, it’s the only piece of white fabric in our house! (You can see the custom burlesque outfit I made for the doll to wear instead here.)

flower mantis embroidery by Suzanne Forbes work in progress 2I drew the mantis and roughly sketched in the background.

I didn’t plan the colors beyond a sense that the mantis would be in oranges and pinks. I don’t usually have much of a plan for embroidery pieces; I just start and keep going.

flower mantis embroidery by Suzanne Forbes work in progress 3I have some very pretty green and orange embroidery thread that was sent to me by Berlin artist Mareike Suensson.

I always appreciate the gift of art supplies! As usual I used at least two dozen colors of thread, and I was happy to make use of some random dusty and blackish greens left over from my heavily beaded and embroidered Green Woman corset, back in 2017.

flower mantis embroidery by Suzanne Forbes Sept 30 2020 detailIt took about forty hours to completely cover the surface with embroidery.

Some people could do it much faster, but I like to go easy on my wrist! I stained the hoop pale green and trimmed the border with purple micro-trim. I am pleased with the result!flower mantis embroidery by Suzanne Forbes September 30 2020 border

More insect embroidery pieces:

Bead embroidered insect corset and accessories

The Barbie Dream House Gum Emperor Moth

Embroidered beetle in shadowbox

Pink and blue grasshopper

Fly with plastic wrap wings

Fauvist Mantis and Crafting with Porn Stars

Moths and bugs made in Oakland