I have never been so happy to have bags of beetle corpses in my life before.

The beetle elytra have arrived! Let me tell you, photos totally do not do them justice. They are very very metallic, a variety of greens, and they have blue iridescence. It’s really hard to take a good picture of them.

Since I had A Plan in my mind of what I wanted to do, I sorted through through them and found about eight that were a good set of colors from light-yellow-green to deep-green-blue. This is a picture during the sorting process.

Then I took the lightest green one and started cutting it up into little squares using an X-acto knife. I didn’t know how the elytra would deal with being cut up like that, whether they would tear or snap or splinter, but as long as the blade was super-fresh, they cut up pretty nicely. The only problem is that they are concave, so it is hard to cut a reasonably 90-degree angled rectangle. I got a couple of trapezoids in there, but I made them work. The piece I’m making is a mezuzah for my mother. I spoke quite a bit about mezuzahs here, if anyone needs a refresher course.

Then I started laying the squares into the brown polymer clay, progressing from the light green into the deeper colors. Here it is in process.

I love how it looks a little like a skyscraper in Manhattan, and I could not get over how reflective the pieces were. I made an animated gif to try and share the magic with you.

Here’s an interesting thing that happened after I baked it to cure the polymer. The heat caused the blue and purple tones to come out, which was really cool. I took a picture post-baking.

Now I’m going to create a small case around it to house the scroll and give it to my mom on Sunday. We’ll see how she likes it.

6 Responses to “I have never been so happy to have bags of beetle corpses in my life before.”

  1. snorth says:

    She’s going to love it because it’s freakin AWESOME!!!

  2. Gemma says:

    So pretty and shiny…beautiful! Can’t wait to see you in a month!!! 😉

  3. nicholas says:

    at what tempurature did you bake the wings? Have you be able to reproduce the results of a bluer irridesence?

  4. Rothbeastie says:

    Hi Nicholas! I baked them at the temperature recommended on the polymer clay package (usually around 275C for about 25 minutes). I haven’t tried to reproduce the bluer iridescence. But give it a shot on a small piece and see if does what you want it to do. And thanks for checking out my blog!

  5. fran says:

    Hi I just got somme beetle wings I want to use for my work.
    Did the bluer color stay or did it change when the piece cooled down ?
    I know that your are not supposed to enjoy chrismas but I wish you anyway a nice Crismas time
    Françoise from Britanny/France

  6. Rothbeastie says:

    Hi Francoise! I hope you have a lovely Christmas as well! The bluer color did stay somewhat after the piece cooled down. I wish you luck in your beetle-wing art! All the best, Jessica.

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