Whittaker AstroBot #2

What better way to honor Prof. William L. “Red” Whittaker than to make an astrobot inspired by his work. Whittaker is well known as Chief Scientist of the Robotics Engineering Consortium At Carnegie Mellon University. What I love about his work is that his robots reference the strengths and characteristics of insects. I’ve added a 1950s campy sci-fi film component to make a six-legged candidate for a walk on the moon. His hair is clearly on fire due to theRead more

The Syrphid fly: a good guy

The Syrphid fly, aka the hoverfly or flower fly, is often seen hovering over flowers. Aphid-eating hoverflies are important natural enemies of pests, and potential agents for use in biological control. Some adult syrphid flies are important pollinators. Hoverflies are common throughout the world and the good news is, they are harmless to most other animals. Look twice next time you think you see a wasp or bee–it may just be the more gentle and beneficial hoverfly. Materials: Vintage wood, beads and buttons; wire; wool; motorRead more

Aranaeus Saevus “Orbras”

“Orbras” is a tiny, eight-legged engineer–an orb weaver who builds spiral, wheel-shaped webs often found in gardens, fields and forests. Orbras and his compatriots are social, largely non-aggressive, and seldom bite. In 2009, over 107 million orb weaver spiders were found living in a phenomenally huge web that covered four acres of a Baltimore wastewater plant. Cold assembly: 19th century brass doorknob, vintage jewelry, antique button, wool roving, wire. Dimensions: 9″x9″x3″ To purchase this spider, follow this link.Read more

Rhynchophorus ferrugineus “Bolo”

Bolo is a red palm weevil or “snout beetle.” This weevil is considered a major pest in palm plantations, but the larval grub is considered a delicacy in Southeast Asian countries. The grubs have been described as creamy tasting when raw, and like bacon or meat when cooked. Cold Assembly: Recycled brass shell casing, antique buttons, eyeglass lenses, automotive fasteners, recycled jewelry, wool roving, wire. Dimensions: 6″x3.5″x5″ To purchase this bug, follow this link.Read more

Swarm: Entomology 101

What could be more fun than a swirling cloud of large, hairy insects hanging about in your living space? An eclectic mix of spiders, mosquitoes, beetles and flies—a budding entomologist’s dream! Each insect in this swarm has its own fascinating story, described in the slides below. This piece sold, but new swarms are coming up in 2019! Stay tuned. Cold assembly: found objects, recycled jewelry, wire, fasteners, chandelier crystals, vintage cabinet knobs, acetate, paint. Dimensions: 40″ x 30″ x 30′ $1600Read more

wear an arachnid

I was thinking about how cool it might be to wear a spider. So I fashioned an ever so lovely pendant from a vintage button, found jewelry, wire and wool. If you’re attending the opening of the Oliver Art Center’s “Birds, Bugs and Beasts” group show on 28 July, you’ll see it in an up close and personal way. Leave your arachnophobia at the door.        Read more

Eupatorus gracilicornis: Wilburn

The Five-horned Beetle is one of the most elegant of rhinoceros beetles. They are also known as Hercules beetles, unicorn beetles, or horn beetles. There are over 300 described species of these beetles, best known for their bizarre shapes and large size. Cold assembly: vintage wood sock darner, antique drawer pulls, vintage eyeglass temples, antique oil can and wrought iron stake fragment, antique wood and brass vase, feathers, leather buttons, recycled jewelry. Dimensions: 12″x6″x17″ To purchase this insect, follow thisRead more

Panchlora nivea: Virgil

 The Cuban cockroach is found in the Caribbean and southern U.S. It lives outdoors, so is not considered a pest. In fact it is a popular pet roach due to its relatively pleasant green color, and because it is not an invasive indoor species. It is also used as food for other pets. Virgil is formidably tall–just over four feet–but manages to charm folks with his dry wit and delicate sensibilities. Cold assembly: Hand-carved blue spruce, antique buttons, vintage kitchen whisk,Read more