Thursday, December 1, 2011

Today's obsession- Thai Jewel-Scarabs

In general, I've got a thing for insects- the little aliens of our world. They're weird- they move like creatures from another planet even though they were some of the first creatures on this planet.

I've tortured them (so sorry to any grasshoppers I encountered as a child, when I did things to you to see how you worked...or didn't work), I ate them at a Denver Museum of Nature and Science lecture (tomato worms, when fried up, taste a lot like fried mushrooms) and thought this article on insect infused cocktails was fascinating (though you won't see me anywhere near that tarantula tea punch- spiders are not insects- they are monsters), I made a lot of art in art school referencing insects and I have a nice collection mounted above my fireplace, but I am especially enchanted by Thai Jewel-Scarabs.

I bought earrings and a pin made from their shells at Soho's Evolution,  then a friend sent me an article about Jan Fabre, an artist that covers dress forms, skulls, and a room in the palace in Brussels with the iridescent shells. 
Royal Palace in Brussels,
Jan Fabre's Heaven of Delight
Detail of Heaven of Delight

Then, today I read about this- a dress created in 1888 for Shakespearean actress Ellen Terry, captured on canvas by John Singer Sargent- still exists and was recently restored

Plus it turns out much of the world has been making beautiful objects out of the pretty beetle shells for a long, long time. Just tapping in to the history of mankind's love of shiny things. 

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