Northern Michigan Artist Protects Insects with New Jewelry Line – MyNorth.com
Research and careful observation inspired the designs and led to the discovery of a new method to capture the beauty and fragility of the subject. Thin sheets of blackened steel are hand engraved to reveal detailed impressions stamped into a textured silver surface like fossils. The hand engraving process reflects the vulnerability of the images it represents. A fusion of art and life in which ghostly images convey their endangered condition.
To create this filigree work, Thatcher needed a master engraver. She searched for almost two years until Alison Simmons came through her front door with an application for the counter. With a BFA in Metal Forging, Alison’s skills were quickly identified and put into action. Today she carefully translates Becky’s original sketches with a delicate hand under the microscope. Each piece lists the name of the species letter by letter on the back.
The Endangered Insect Collection includes bracelet cuffs, embossed earrings and large round vario pendants with interchangeable chains. Each piece has an insect positioned so that no two are alike. They cost under $ 500 and are available at the Becky Thatcher Designs studio in Glen Arbor, the store in downtown Traverse City, and via virtual demonstration.
According to Becky, the response to the collection has been inspiring. “People try to mix native plants in their garden, tear up lawns to plant prairie grasses and flowers to make various things bloom. So it was really fun having conversations about habitat restoration and insect appreciation. Can you imagine the world without a blue Karner butterfly? “
Becky Thatcher Designs donates 10% of sales of the Endangered Insects Collection to the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy for use in habitat restoration. The small creatures of nature – insects and pollinators – are among our endangered and endangered species. You can help them fight for survival by adding native plants to your garden, removing harmful chemicals, and appreciating the biodiversity that supports Michigan’s splendor.