Welcome, Spring! (it’s now official) In honor of the seasonal shift, I felt like doing a project that brought some of the joy of spring into the home.
With a wooden frame, colored vinyl sheets, a mylar sheet, some paint, and glue, I created a three dimensional collage of stained-glass vibrant, translucent butterflies settled for a beautiful, suspended moment. Their light acrylic wings vibrate and flutter in a light breeze, and one might imagine that at any moment, they might peel away from their perches and whimsically flit away into the outdoor sunshine.
I started out with a simple wood frame. Originally meant as a 1″ elevated painting surface, I instead flipped it over and painted its backside with several coats of matte white acrylic paint. The result was simple and rustic-looking, with the wood texture showed through the paint (vs. a smooth lacquered surface). I thought it was well-suited to the organic, natural feel of the piece.
I drew and cut out butterfly shapes free-hand on a piece of paper and then taped them to the back of thin acrylic sheets and cut out shapes with an all-purpose scissor. With an exacto knife and a ruler, I then lightly scored one side of the sheet, between the wings and body (being careful to cut entirely through the sheet), and then created crisp 45-degree angle folds.
What I love about translucent vinyl (I used .010″ flexible sheets; these can be found at fine art supply stores such as Pearl and Blick) is the ability to layer colors and shapes (such as a yellow layer overlapping with a blue one to create a green intersection of curved edges). As I wanted to showcase layering, combined with simple three-dimensional interest, the delicate and elegant profile of a butterfly seemed best-suited to do so.
As I envisioned the butterflies nestled on and within the 1″ deep frame, I wanted to ensure that their bright color wouldn’t be dimmed within the shadow of the frame’s interior, so I create an interior backdrop of a silver mylar sheet to reflect light. As an added bonus, the reflection of the butterfly profiles off of the mylar added complexity to the piece.
I then glued the butterflies to the frame with G-S hypo cement, an adhesive that I use for my jewelry projects and has the advantage of a fine-tipped precision applicator.
The finished result! Remarkably like unconstrained splashes of stained glass…
When light passes through the vinyl, all sorts of interesting reflections are created (such as in the photo below, upon the gold mat).
Hello, spring! ^_^