Wicked sculpture just in time for Halloween

Made by Elizabeth

I did it!! After finishing my blue shark I jumped into sculpting something really intricate, complex, and challenging – a gigantic tarantula hawk. I was inspired to make this piece when I stumbled across a bottle of ‘iridescent gel’ in the art supply store. Tarantula hawks are really big, very scary-looking parasitic wasps that prey on tarantulas, but they’re actually quite beautiful because of the blue, iridescent sheen on a black body with deep orange, contrasting wings. I’m very pleased with the iridescent quality of this gel. I made the eyes glassy and glistening by using 2 coats of clear nail polish. I’m still working out how to securely attach the wings. I’ll share a photo of the final piece once that’s completed. This beast has a 5-foot wingspan!

paper mache Tarantula hawks

paper mache Tarantula hawks

10 thoughts on “Wicked sculpture just in time for Halloween”

  1. I just want to add I have to come back and look at this every day. Not that I like being scared, but it is exquisitely done. Wow.

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  2. Sooo very cool!
    Can you tell me what materials you made the wings with? I’m starting a dragonfly, and the wings are going to be the “this is what I’m learning how to do with THIS sculpture” part!

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    • To make the wings I drew them in the size I wanted on a large piece of paper. I used that as the template for measuring and shaping the 16 gauge wire I used to make the “frame”. The material is colored cellophane, which I was able to buy online. The wire pieces for the frame are held together by tightly-wrapped masking tape, which I then painted. A spray contact cement works well for securing front and back cellophane pieces to the wire frame.

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  3. Scary indeed! And super well done! The detail, the time spent, just fabulous! I won’t be coming to your house for Halloween…..the stuff nightmares are made of!

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  4. Incredible. If I say I don’t like you, you will understand. Scary. The craftsmanship is remarkable. I dream of even trying something like this when walking and don’t have to deal with reality. This is really gorgeous. What a fantastic artist you are.

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  5. Elizabeth, it’s both beautiful and terrifying! What a fantastic sculpture. The detailing, the colors – everything is perfect.

    But a five-foot wingspan on a bug? Holy crap! OK, I just figured it out (I’m a little slow). Your wasp is five feet across, but the real ones are much smaller. I get it. 🙂 They’re still huge, in the opinion of this wimpy human, but not as big as yours. Your sculpture is so realistic, even down to the wings and mouth parts, it would fit in nicely with the other big bugs who flew around a very long time ago. In fact, it looks like it belongs in a museum of natural history.

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