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The male ebony jewelwing damselfly is an iridescent beauty, fluttering slowly along forest streams, defending its territory, whether a blade of grass or a stick.  They must travel at times because I’ve seen the females in my yard, which is quite a treat.  Last year I rediscovered a specimen I had acquired somewhere and determined to use that as a model to sculpt a unique piece of jewelry celebrating this beautiful insect.  After months of thinking through various problems, I finally decided to just jump in and start!

I started with a drawing done to scale using graph paper and starting fashioning wings out of wire.

Step 1 © 2015 Karen A. Johnson

Step 1
© 2015 Karen A. Johnson

Then I took thinner wire and following the direction of the veins, formed a pattern that would help hold the polymer clay in place.

Step 2 © 2015 Karen A. Johnson

Step 2
© 2015 Karen A. Johnson

The body was next…frequently comparing my work to the drawing in order to keep the proportions correct.

Step 3  © 2015 Karen A. Johnson

Step 3
© 2015 Karen A. Johnson

Step 4 © 2015 Karen A. Johnson

Step 4
© 2015 Karen A. Johnson

I then mixed a dark brown alcohol ink into some translucent polymer clay, made a thin sheet and placed it in the wire frame, reinforcing it in spots to make sure it would stay, then baked it.

Step 6 © 2015 Karen A. Johnson

Step 6
© 2015 Karen A. Johnson

For the iridescence, I layered dark blue polymer clay with gold leaf covered in a blue alcohol ink (makes a teal color) with a final layer of translucent clay.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out…

Unbaked sculpture © 2015 Karen A. Johnson

Unbaked sculpture
© 2015 Karen A. Johnson

After baking, sanding, buffing and a layer of Renaissance wax, here’s the final sculpture…and the resulting necklace!  Enjoy!

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