Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lindsey Bessanson's fearsome creepy creations

Insects have always freaked me out, so there’s no way I’m falling for these half-steampunk versions. I do appreciate the craftsmanship of the creator, artist Lindsey Bessanson from Arizona. Given the pains that she goes through to create each masterpiece, her work certainly does deserve a mention.

While Lindsey started off making insect jewelry in 2003, over the years she’s perfected a unique routine to create her robo-bugs. She first got the idea when she realized some insects were just too beautiful to be cast in gold or silver for jewelry. So now, she takes dried, dead insects and puts them through a humidifier for a couple of days. With this, the legs and wings become more flexible, allowing her to fan them out and position them according to her liking. At this stage she is able to take the insect apart, as though it were a toy. She then strengthens all the joints with metal and puts everything back together again. The completed insect is pinned to a piece of Styrofoam so it can harden into the desired position. It takes her about two weeks to complete an insect sculpture.Some of Lindsey’s works include the Desert Hairy Scorpion and Purple Dung Beetle with Metallic Gears. To me, those names sound like warriors from those old cheesy kung-fu movies, but in reality, Lindsey’s creations are harmless compared to and somewhat less creepy than the living version. Her most favorite insects to work with seem to be tarantulas and scorpions. She obtains dead ones from eBay and from a few specialist entomologist websites. Sometimes, she finds a good-looking insect right at home and then it’s her husband’s job to put it in the freezer to die quickly and painlessly. Apparently, she can’t do it herself because she feels for the insects she later turns into steampunk hybrids. “I can’t even give them the last, ‘Okay you’re going to die now…’ speech. It’s too sad,” she says.indsey’s not the only one who likes the mechanized insects. A few colleagues who find her work fascinating provide her with a steady supply of interesting bugs as well. The completed pieces are all for sale between £75 ($120) and £190 ($300). Well, now you know what’s the worst thing someone could get for my birthday!

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