‘Renewed Dogbane Beetle’
By Leanne McCormack
‘This piece is part of a whole new stage in my work. I have recently moved onto more three-dimensional forms. I felt that I needed to take my enamelling in a new direction.
This little creature is inspired by a Dogbane Beetle, which I have created in my own style. As quite a lot of us have turned to nature and walks, as a release from our current situation. I have been thinking about the environment and the Earths’ dwindling insect numbers. Bugs face an array of threats from habitat destruction and fragmentation, climate change, urbanisation, light pollution and pesticides. I wanted my work to help draw attention to the amazing colours and forms, that can be found in our insect world. The decline of their population is real and has been measured only in a few areas of the world. Indeed, the less studied areas hold the biggest diversity of insects, so the problem is bigger than we think. I created this piece after researching many types of beetles. I have made it from copper sheet, from which I hand pierced the long antennae, body and its many legs. The body was then formed on a doming block, then the pieces were carefully soldered together. I then made many test samples of the vitreous enamels, to decide on the right shades. The piece was then enamelled using the wet process technique and afterwards the Sgraffito enamelling technique. It took many layers of firing in the kiln to get to this final stage. The whole piece was then finally oxidised, to achieve the patina that I wanted on the rest of the beetles’ body.’
Materials: Copper sheet (oxidised), vitreous enamel, clear copper flux. Measurements: Width 6cm, Length 7.2cm, Height 1cm; comes in a small box frame.