At the beginning of the month we announced a new challenge over on the Art Elements blog. This time it was the turn of Diana Ptaszynski to choose the theme and for June, she chose insects. Perfect for Spring! You can read the original post here.
As well as getting creative with the theme, we’ve had some real live insects here at home with an amazing butterfly kit. After buying a habitat, we posted off a voucher and received 5 baby caterpillars back in the post. They were about 10mm long and contained in a little tub with food. Within a week, we were amazed to find they’d grown to five times the size and were attaching themselves to the roof of the pot and turning in to chrysalis. The threads are silk that they’ve spun to protect themselves and the black fuzzy bits are their skin… I didn’t know, but they shed it once they’re attached and the insides harden to make the shell. You can’t see from the pic, but they’re iridescent, and great inspiration for future designs!
They’ve now been moved in to the habitat (pop up tent) where the lid has been removed from the pot and secured to the base with all the chrysalis attached, where we’ll wait for them to hatch. In a couple of weeks, they’ll hopefully emerge as painted lady butterflies (as at the top of the page) and we can release them in to the garden… I can’t wait! I’ve only seen butterflies hatching on the TV, so I’m really looking forward to that!
So back to my own insects… for the challenge, I decided I’d like to make something in porcelain. I’ve been playing around with painting greenware porcelain with underglazes and single firing, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to make something using this technique as you can get really detailed designs. Great for butterflies!!
The first attempt was quite simple, a monarch butterfly.
And for my second I went for a swallowtail butterfly. I’ve loved these since I was little, I used to go to the Royal Exchange in Manchester and look at all the encased insects in the underground antique market, and this was always my favourite!
Next, I made an Atlas moth, these fascinating insects are huge! This one’s just a tiddler though!
And finally, a Deaths Head Hawk Moth, another favourite… I went for a monochrome tattoo style for this one.
I’m pleased with how they all turned out, even if they did take an entire day to paint! I think it was worth it 🙂
To see what wonderful insect themed creations the rest of the AE Team & guests made, join us in the blog hop using the links below!