The Artistry of Arthropods


When one of our male colleagues arrived in the office with this luxurious gold beetle brooch affixed to his bag, we knew instantaneously that we had to feature it. As we formalized our plans for this beetle gift guide entry, we realized that there was no shortage of creature-centric art that we adored. As a result, we present you with this unusual gift idea: sculptural—sometimes wearable— arthropods. Before you pull away, we invite you to appreciate how architectural trilobites and whispery moths are inherently artistic in themselves, so the translation of these forms to art is seamless and results in outstanding visual texture. Prepare yourself for some entomological magic!


 

As our inspiration for this feature, we begin with the scarab brooch by Ukrainian Sergey Zhernov of Zhernov Artifactory. Our team owns two color combinations: gold and two-toned gold and silver plated copper. Both are absolutely phenomenal. We love how the smooth contours of the exoskeleton are spotlighted by the reflective metals. The sculptural spired mandibles extending from the head of the beetles are viciously cool and the clear focal point of these commanding pieces. We proudly wear them as statement brooches on simple black dresses and suits or, as our colleague masterfully demonstrated, as fantastic accents to bags. It makes us feel chic and sophisticated and ever so slightly edgy, in the most delicious way!



 


a senior woman with white hair wearing a necklace made of tiny silver ants
By Guldsmed Lancing

Next we have an awe-inspiring creation from Swedish father and daughter goldsmiths, Ola and Hilda Lancing, of Guldsmed Lancing . The minuscule whimsy of 200 oxidized sliver ants is accented beautifully but a curled golden branch that wraps around the neck, sprouting delicate golden flowers and leaves. The Lancings arrange the ants with impeccable movement; the ants appear to climb onto each other, clinging to the branch, forming a tangled web of legs and iridescent bodies the décolleté of the wearer. It's fantastically romantic and an outstanding demonstration of artistry.




 


We travel now to Philadelphia Pennsylvania for these gorgeous tin moth earrings created by Devin McNutt at Saffron Creations. Their folded golden bodies are blanketed by cape-like wings, pierced with golden rings. Playfully curved legs bend upward toward expressive antennae that delicately frame and flatter the ear of the wearer. They're gloriously reminiscent of origami as their broad flat wings offer a paper-esque geometry that is simply to die for. Plus, McNutt selects vibrant symmetric patterns for the wings of these zestful critters making them genuinely joyful accessories. They certainly leave us smiling!



 


The whimsy continues with these graphic beetle brooches from the studio of Lindsay Locatelli in Colorado. Made from polymer clay and silver, the beetles feature psychedelically colored rings that leave them exuding spirited fun. Bands of color wrap around horn like mandibles and pronotums (the neck like segments) offering a striking linear accent to the iridescence of spotted bodies. Assembled, the segments, each full of unique and bold personality, form a totem pole like beetle that perfectly accents any outfit.




 


Artistic faux taxidermy is next on our list. From Buffalo, NY's Aleah Michele Ford of Moth on the Wall, these moth sculptures are a bit too big to be worn as jewelry (although we powerfully support you if you decide to try!). Stunningly realistic fabric is wrapped around wire frames to form wings that can be positioned to add life-like movement to the moths. The seamless wings are accented by touchably fluffy abdomens that erupt into the most ethereally feathered antennae. The realism is remarkable but it's the scale that transforms these faux moths into true artistic masterpieces. We adore how large they are. With impressive size, each sculpture is capable of truly transforming any wall it is hung on into a fanciful entomological exhibit. We can't rave enough about these!


 

Out last wearable crawler comes to us from Moscow. Artist Peresvetti uses outstanding beadwork skills to create bewitchingly textured beetle brooches. In parallel with Locatelli's banded horns, Peresvetti's beetles' antennae are constructed with beads that decrease in size forming a banded taper of stacked rings. What we love most about the use of beads is the eye-catching light-reflecting texture. It's surreal. The shadows between rows of beads provide unexpected linearity that is enhanced by the perceived hardness of the material. Flat beads glisten like disco balls while round beads produce a ribbed surface that seems almost plush. Peresvetti captures an astonishing amount of detail, ensuring the beetles remain recognizable by altering the angles of the beads to suggest the segments of the bodies and adding six tendrily legs. Available in every color and pattern imaginable, these beetle brooches are well suited for any aesthetic!

 

the underside of a bronze horseshoe crab bottle opener
By Matthew Hall

Although these horseshoe crabs aren't jewelry, they are unquestionably useful as they're secretly bottle openers! At roughly 5" long, the horseshoe crabs are the ideal size to sit decoratively on your counter and, bonus, they are surprisingly ergonomic. Beneath the solid metal bodies are edged lips that lift caps and lids effortlessly. But it's not the functionality that we are smitten with, it's the design.


Industrial Designer Matthew Hall, based in Rhode Island, creates these beautiful sculptures by hand and the quality he achieves is unrivaled. The carapace segmentation of the head is immediately recognizable; the top segment is smooth aside from realistic panels and peaks while the second segment is more detailed with small perforations framing the central ridge and marvelously serrated edges. The body concludes with a tail that begins in an angled triangular shape before tapering to a sleek rounded point. Horseshoe crabs are some of the most epic creatures (did you know they have blue copper-based blood?!) and we relish the opportunity Hall has granted to us to cherish them as everyday sculpture in our homes.


 

Last, but certainly not least, are trilobite sculptures by Allan Drummond. An Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Chicago, Drummond, with meticulous craftsmanship, produces sculptures that are so highly detailed we would think they were real if not for their oxidized bronze color. The tiered ridges of the trilobites' exoskeletons are accented by merciless spires to capture the prehistoric extraterrestrial quality of these critters. Drummond stunningly captures the diversity of this group of arthropods; some of the sculptures are rigidly skeletal, some feature hair-like antennae that seem to defy gravity, others have impressively intricate perforations. Even the undersides of the trilobites are hyperrealistic, successfully alluding to the kinetic power of dozens of cilia-esque legs. The artistry, the commitment to accuracy, and the aesthetic vision of Drummond are truly remarkable so it comes as no surprise that his trilobites are exceptional.