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Insects

Dimensions: varies, but no bigger than 8x8cm

Material: porcelain

For the new ‘Insectarium’ of Amsterdam zoological gardens Artis I have made 80 Dutch insects and 4 so-called ‘non-insects’, among others a slug and a centipede.

These insects had to fit in the already existing ‘insects cabinet’ and that is why each insect is 8 x 8 centimetres at the most, sometimes much larger than in real life but small enough to be able to make an almost exact copy in porcelain.

Not a single insect has been made at natural size, I had to let go of their proportions compared to one another. The material these insects are made of, porcelain, has its limitations. Some of the insects are so small (the head-louse for example) that they are barely visible with the naked eye.

Tiny details such as tentacles, claws and antennas are almost impossible to make.

Wings are as thin as parchment, by which the egg-shell china becomes transparent and when the light shines through even the smallest details are clearly visible. That is what I think one of the fine qualities of porcelain.

Working at this assignment was really inspiring. To be able to make them I had to study the external visible and specific features and the way of life of each individual insect. In the process of this fantastic project my admiration for these fascinating creatures grew bigger and bigger. More than before I realize the importance of most insects for mankind.

This collection porcelain insects will be on permanent display in the ‘insect show-case’ at the ‘Insectarium’ of Amsterdam Zoo Artis.