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The sound of summer just wouldn’t be complete without the loud chorus of the annual cicada, or dog-day cicada.  They have a beautiful pattern on their thorax and wings which inspired me to try my hand at sculpting them.  My previous post, Summer Cicada, shows my first attempt.

cicada

Cicada ©2010 Karen A Johnson

Cicada
©2010 Karen A Johnson

I then was commissioned to do another one and decided to redo the front wings.  The wings were made using a cane made up of many simple canes, shaped into the various cells of the wing.  A “cane” is basically a cylinder of polymer clay where the pattern on the end runs through the entire cylinder.  When all the simple canes are put together, something more complex can be shaped.  The large cane can then be reduced by manipulating and pulling/pushing the clay until it’s the size you want.  Just like shrinking a drawing, all the details become finer and are generally consistent throughout the cane, perfect for reproducing symmetrical insects!

Cicada wing cane © 2013 Karen A Johnson

Cicada wing cane
© 2013 Karen A Johnson

Cicada wing cane, reduced © 2013 Karen A Johnson

Cicada wing cane, reduced
© 2013 Karen A Johnson

The larger the cane, the more detail you can get, but this also leaves you with a lot of that same pattern as well.  Once my commission was done, I wondered how I could use the rest of the cane since I didn’t want to waste it.  I decided to try my hand at some variations of open-winged cicadas and came up with two.

Cicada 2 © 2013 Karen A. Johnson

Cicada 2 (commission)
© 2013 Karen A. Johnson

Cicada 3 © 2014 Karen A Johnson

Cicada 3
© 2014 Karen A Johnson

Cicada 4 © 2014 Karen A Johnson

Cicada 4
© 2014 Karen A Johnson

If you want to see additional views of the jewelry, check out my website- www.karensnatureart.com .

As you may have noticed, I used a cane for the thorax as well and I have even more of that left over!  We’ll have to see how that can be used in the future…Enjoy!

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