Friday, 22 July 2011

Iridescent Butterfly–Part 2

Back again – I wasn’t able to do any yesterday, because I was busy setting up my new printer. Today, the Gallery Glass on my wings has now fully dried, and I can move on to the next stage.

I have trimmed off the cellophane from around the wings. You can see how iridescent they are already, and they can be left like this if you want. Dragonfly wings would be gorgeous like this, but you would need thinner wire.

08 Gallery Glass Dried Overnight

After trimming, the edges have to be heat set, so going carefully with the heat gun, with the wing edge on, I went round each wing until the edge of the cellophane melted.

On this close-up shot, you can see that the edge is slightly rounded.

09 Edges of Wing Sealed with Heat Gun

Heating the wings does soften the Gallery Glass and superglue a bit, so it’s important not to handle them too much until they are thoroughly cooled, or they will get damaged.

The next stage is to paint them. I am using Daler Rowney Pearlescent liquid acrylic in the colour Galactic Blue, which is a gorgeous vibrant colour. The wings will need two coats, drying thoroughly between each coat.

Here are the wings after the first coat. You will notice that I’ve painted over the wires too. This makes them look slightly less obvious – they are a bit thick!

10 Wings with 1st Coat of Iridescent Acrylic

When you’ve painted the second coat, before it is dry, you can sprinkle a little ultra-fine poly-glitter onto the wings. It’s best not to use too much. Using the silvery-white glitter, it doesn’t look much when you first put it on…

11 Wings with 2nd Coat of Iridescent Acrylic and Glitter

…but once the wings have been set aside to dry thoroughly, the glitter is heat set using the heat gun, and this has the effect of bringing out all the gorgeous colours in the glitter. (Using any other colour of glitter, heating it would not have any effect.) I'm afraid the photo doesn't do it justice - I can never understand why sparkly or shimmery effects come out so badly on photographs!

12 Wings with Glitter Heat Sealed

13 Wing with Heat Sealed Glitter Detail

I have not painted the backs of the wings. The blue acrylic on the front deepens the iridescence of the cellophane on the back, and I love this effect. It will not be lost in the project I am using this butterfly in, either, because the back will be reflected in a layer of silver mirror card.

14 Wings Reverse Side

You can paint the backs with black acrylic paint if you like, and this will make the blue on the front darker and richer. It’s all a matter of personal taste. I prefer to keep the surface colour as it is, because it will match my project better.

I am quite pleased with the result of this first pair of wings, despite the wire being a bit thicker than I wanted, so I’m going to go ahead and make the smaller pair. I am going to look around for some thin, already covered wire, which should make life easier.

To be continued…


  1. Oh wow these are absolutley beautiful

  2. Thanks ladies! Celeste - I thought you might like these. I shall use thinner wire in future and I think the results will be better. Watch this space!

  3. Hi Shoshi, I love your projects - just had a quick look around this blog and it's wonderful.

    I was actually looking for a 'contact' button so I could ask you a question but, as I can't see one, I'll have to ask you here :) Did you ever go to Manchester University?

  4. Hi CraftyJo, thanks for your lovely comment, and so glad you enjoyed my blog. I'm afraid I didn't go to Manchester University but my dad did, many, many moons ago, and so did my god-daughter (she got a 1st class honours!) - I only graduated from the University of Life, I'm afraid!! (I'll see if I can find out how to add a "contact" button. Thanks for a good idea!)

  5. Oh My, HOW pretty Shoshi! I am SO looking forward to seeing this one completed as I know it is going to be a sure show stopper! *Hugs*


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