Tag Archives: jewelled bug

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!

Bug bricolage roundup for June!

grasshopper bricolage carriage and shadow box by Suzanne Forbes May 2017I’ve been working on several bug bricolage projects this month. Here are two finished ones!

grasshopper bricolage carriage harness Suzanne Forbes May 2017The copper paperart cricket seen here was a birthday gift in my forties from the incredible artist and sculptor Aimee Baldwin. I made him this carriage to ride in out of a gilt carriage I got on eBay. Then I made a harness for a metal grasshopper I ordered from some online discounter.

I had this vision before we left the US of an insect-based version of the classic Golden Jubilee or coronation coach models. In my mind’s eye I saw it in our new home, one of the lamps that guided me through the terrors and trials of the move.Pall Mall GOldsmiths State Coach model

I don’t know why it felt so important to me to make this weird thing; I never do.

grasshopper bricolage carriage left side Suzanne Forbes May 2017 I had a lot of miniature horse saddlery supplies and thin metallic leather left over from my Snow Queen project.

I had little buckles, silver leather straps and silver cord. It could not go to waste! I covered the side panels of the coach, which were white, with a variety of fine silver leathers and cording trim. Silver rhinestuds added detail. I used antique silver color filigree jewelry findings to tip the ends of the carriage shafts so they fit the grasshopper better. (They still look a little dark, Imma brush them with silver paint to blend them in better just took my silver Sharpie and fixed ’em.)

grasshopper bricolage carriage left side Suzanne Forbes May 2017 I made a little silver leather seat pillow with cord trim and scrapbooking brads for the upholstery button-tufting, and filled it with microbeads which work better than any fluffy filling on dollhouse or mini scale.

I made the harness out of silver leather straps. Some of them were silver on the tops but white on the sides, so I colored the sides with a fine-point silver Sharpie. It worked great!

When you have all your tools readily to hand it’s so easy to take care of the details!grasshopper bricolage carriage med

The new jewel bug shadowbox is lined with green dragonfly brocade scraps left over from a corset made years ago by Mina LaFleur.

Like my incredible dressmaker and costumier Monique Motil, Mina always thoughtfully returns all scraps of fabric from a project.jewelled insect shadowbox by Suzanne Forbes June 2017 You never know what you might use it for!

I buy the jewelled insect brooches on eBay using a simple system: they have to have free shipping and I will bid up to $2.00. If the bidding goes over $2, too bad. So it takes a while to accumulate a batch for a shadow box but after all it’s not like I’m in a hurry.

I’m working on slowly increasing the pink accents in the Gothic Rococo salon, so I searched specifically for pink bug brooches this time.

jewelled insect shadowbox by Suzanne Forbes June 2017

If the bug brooch arrives with any colors that don’t coordinate well, I tint the enamel or rhinestones with a colored Sharpie. Since they’re going to be in a box, it won’t rub off. I turned white areas pink and yellows to pale green for this one.

To attach the backing fabric to the board in the shadowbox I use UHU “Extra Allekleber”, my Germany dupe for my beloved Quik Grip (formerly Quik Grab). It’s an excellent adhesive for fabric to fabric or fabric to anything; it really lets you stretch and shape your fabric to a surface.

The brocade was wrinkled from years of storage but I didn’t bother to press it, just stretched it taut with my UHU. To attach the bugs to the backing board I always use a glue gun. I make little balls of tin foil and attach them to the backs of the bug pins to keep them level. They hide neatly behind wings and keep the brooches stable.

Then I glue on the bugs and there it is, a new vegan jewelled insect shadow box!