The Bug Collection

August 30, 2016

To be honest, any day in the studio is a great day. But sometimes I get in a routine making the same pieces over and over. Or stamping one personalized bangle after another. I love making the bangles so much, but it is fabulous when I get caught up and can experiment with something different. The Bug Collection is one of those unique and different collections that is a lot of fun to make.

The Bug Collection is part of the Encapsulated Series which is composed of handcrafted settings filled with resin. The idea of this case was the entire reason I started silversmithing 13 years ago. I had a vision of these organic shapes similar to coral filled with colorful resin. I loved making these unique one of a kind forms and started to wonder what else I could do with the resin.


Around this time, my studio was in a wonderful artist community. Outside of the studio was a beautiful vitex tree which attracted a ton of bees. Perhaps the bees had just reached the end of their short lives, but they died in droves under the tree. I was struck by the intricate beauty of the dead insects. Instead of just sweeping them aside, I decided to create a special case for them and encapsulate their beauty forever in resin. So I picked them up (here is where a lot of friends start to wonder exactly how odd I am) and brought them into the studio to create something unique. 


Over the last few years, I've made a few of these one of a kind pieces. It's always such fun to see who is drawn to the bugs and why each piece speaks to her. For some friends, it is the memory of happy summers in the south and the song of the cicadas. For others, the dire situation of the bees in our world speaks to them. What I love is that my children are as excited about finding bug specimens as I am. The three of them recognize and respect the beauty in nature and are thrilled whenever we happen upon a cool, DEAD bug. Because of course, we wouldn't harm them. But it delights us when one of God's delicate creatures happens across our path and we can add them to The Bug Collection.


Many of my friends know of my fascination with bugs and occasionally, I'll find a dead cicada dropped off in our mailbox or am given someone's collection of bugs to turn into something amazing. My cousin mailed me the most gorgeous green beetle from Mexico. One of my favorite stories is when I got an amazing box of dead scorpions from my friend Nicole in Texas. She warned me not to touch them in case there was still venom in the tip. My son Reese and I opened the box together and realized the scorpions were like a magnet drawing our fingers in to touch them... We resisted!


I do understand that the bugs aren't for everyone. My mother says they freak her out and I get it. But I love them and am happy to share the collection with you. You can find them on the website under The Encapsulated Series. These are truly one of a kind!

1 Response

Betsy Brandes
Betsy Brandes

August 30, 2016

Do you think that I could get over roaches if I purchased one of your’s to wear around my neck? Seriously, I despise them!!

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