Hello everyone. Yes, it’s been a while since I posted something. All I can say is that life sometimes gets in the way of art. I’m sure most of you can attest to that fact.
I’ve decided to make a dragon-like dragonfly. This idea came after getting a really cool gift from one of my daughters at Christmas. She is a senior in the architecture program at the University of Washington. She has access to some laser cutters in her program and she used one to cut these dragonfly wings out of wood and paper. I was just blown away by the precision of those lasers!
The cuts produced the most delicate structures!
The key to this project will be making wings that are analogous to wings like the ones above, but with much less detail.
I found some sticks at a craft store made from bamboo. There are fairly flexible. And I like the organic nature of the little branches. So I decided to use them for the outside of my wings.
I was able to put together some pairs of sticks, ones that had matching little branches (below). Using pairs of sticks like this I can make sure that opposite wings are somewhat consistent in structure.
Using masking tape I made the basic shapes of the wings.
I wanted some of the interior veins to be bigger than others. So first I used pieces of wire clothes hangers wrapped with masking tape.
I put those inside the top wings first.
Right now I’m adding smaller gauge wire to finish the vein-like structures inside the wings. To tell you the truth I’m not sure this will work yet. I’m not sure if it will look the way I want. Obviously I can’t create anything as detailed as the paper structures. Here is a close-up of what I’m doing.
This is a far as I’ve gotten. Once I have the internal structures complete I will paint everything black. Then I’ll add a layer of some really cool cloth I bought for this project. It could be really cool. Then again, these might end up in the garbage can. Can’t tell yet.
I’ll make another post as soon as I have all the veining finished. Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. In case you’ve been wondering about the dragon raffle, that has been pushed into May (cancer awareness month). I’ll let you know as soon as the foundation is ready to launch.
Good to find your email in my box ( was wondering where you went 😉)! I love the method that you are going with for the dragonfly wings…very clever!!
Sent from my iPad
Wow Valarie, you are fast! I barely had a chance to edit before you commented! Thanks for looking!
Those wings your daughter gave you are awesome!
I wonder if you could use some of that shrink plastic on your wings…
The kind you find wrapped around your gift baskets or fruit baskets, I’ve seen some really big ones!
Hi Rose. Shrink plastic is a great idea! I’m going to experiment with some translucent cloth I bought first. If that doesn’t work then I may try the plastic. Thank you!
Great idea! I hope your experiment works out.
Thanks Rick! Me too! I’ll know by the time I get one wing done. Hopefully in a few days. I’m off to the races now. I’m so happy to have launched into a new project. I have a couple more in mind as well. Take care
Reblogged this on Lenora's Culture Center and Foray into History.
thank for your generous sharing of technique – very timely for me as i want to make some wings for my “little creatures of the crow kiah labyrinth” https://nettiesartstudio.wordpress.com/sculpture/
Those are really great! Thank you for sharing the link! Good luck on your project! It looks amazing!
These are beautiful. The cloth might not even be necessary.
I have been meaning to write to you and say thanks for all the info and encouragement to try things on your website. My art class and I dove into the idea of doing your methods a couple of months ago (after viewing two of your videos) and they are just getting finished. Along with the additional help of some of your books, we filled the room with crazy animals! All sizes, not all dragons, very cool. I will send some pictures after I ask the students who wishes to send a photo to you. We could not afford the taxidermy eyes so we painted the backs of those 1″ or so clear ‘1/2 marbles’ that come in bags for floral arrangements. They worked very well.
Hey Rebecca. I’d love to see some photos, even post some on my website if you’d like. I think eyes can be made out of anything round. I don’t want people to think that they need taxidermy eyes. I’ve used porcelain drawer pulls (spherical from Home Depot) and marbles and even just polymer clay rolled between my palms. They all work. You are a saint for running such a class! Most teachers don’t want to deal with the mess. The kids will remember your class forever. Thank you!
Is it considered ‘cheating’ if you use chickenwire for the veining? Painted white (or…), pulled to distort, etc.
Hey there. It wouldn’t be cheating, but I want the pattern to be a bit more random. The lattice of chicken wire is just too evenly spaced I think even if it was stretched. But I may be wrong. Of course now I’ve invested a few hours on this I am compelled to move in the same direction until I get one wing done. Then I’ll know. Even though I’m pursuing this method stubbornly, I appreciate the chicken wire idea.
that’s really cool!!
Thank you Problems with Infinity!
Beautiful as is a work in progress Can only get better. Inspirational……..thanks
Thank you Margareth!
Great to see you back at it. These look beautiful. I love the way your artistic mind works.
I can’t believe this. This comment was on page 2. I never go to page 2. I’m sorry I didn’t see this. But here it is. Thank you Willow. You are always so supportive (and understanding!).
I love your work!
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Thank you Karen!
Those dragonfly wings are stunning! Lucky you… Your wings are very interesting. I love the way you can see how the bamboo will work. I think you’re right!
Hey Carol. Yes, the bamboo is working so far. I did some more last night. Still not sure it will look the way I want. We’ll see. Thank you for stopping by.
I just love your enthusiasm – even for something you know may not work. Very inspiring. For the record, the wings are looking great. Keep up the good work and look forward to the end result. I hope they work out 🙂
Glad you like them! I hope they work. They are turning out to be very time consuming! (But I enjoy the work.)
This is really fantastic! Such great talent….
I hope it works out the way I want. Thank you!
Thanks Linda. We’ll see!
Amazing. With jaw dropping anticipation I look forward to your next post.
Thank you Connie! Always nice to hear from you!
Dan you are amazing!! can not wait to see the dragon those wings will be attached too! I finished my first whole body dragon and he looks down on me at my computer!
Thanks Vicki! I’d love to see your dragon. Can you send me a photo (email@example.com) or post a link here?
it looks so realistic
# cowboys lover, thats me
Thanks Elaine! I just finished the webbing in one wing. I’ll see how it looks.
The laserwork is amazing. Awesome stuff.
Thank you! Yes, that was a really special piece. It’s so amazingly delicate.
Hi Dan, truly wonderful, excellent job, every day I admire the most, GREETINGS AND GOD BLESS.
Thank you Andres! You are always very supportive. It is much appreciated!
These are absolutely beautiful! How did I almost miss this post?!
Thanks Diane. I just finished the structure of one wing. I think it looks good. ‘ll post on that soon.