Data + Design Project

Entomology Embroidered? Miniature Insect Sculptures

Wednesday 06.12.2013 , Posted by
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Claire Moynihan Bug Balls 5

Although they often get a bad rap, the diverse and varied world of insects is a fascinating and beautiful one. UK-based artist Claire Moynihan certainly thinks so. She’s been creating entomological collections in traditional boxes using “freestyle” 3D embroidery techniques inspired by the stumpwork style. It’s a loose form of embroidery which allows her to experiment with different threads and materials to achieve her aims. Even considering her unusual creative mediums, her work would easily fool someone from a distance – and many people will be happy to know, we haven’t spotted any spiders lurking in the collections.

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Moynihan’s aptly named Bug Balls, see her tiny creations mounted on felt balls inside cases featuring insects from beetles to wasps, dragonflies to butterflies. To complete the look she often includes a pin through the insect’s center, giving them the appearance of careful preservation.

The tiny sculptures are an expression of Maynihan’s appreciation for the natural world and an extension of her love of drawing, now translated into 3D form. Her website says she “enjoys the humour in producing insects that are realistic and presenting them as traditional entomological collections. Her work is a celebration of insects some of which are ironically described as ‘pests’.” You can see more of her exquisite work at her online gallery.

Claire Moynihan Bug Balls 1

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Claire Moynihan Bug Balls 2

Claire Moynihan Bug Balls 3

Via laughingsquid

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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