The Milbert's Tortoiseshell isn't a well known or "popular" butterfly, but it's one of my favorites.
Last summer, I had the door to my studio open for a little fresh air. All of a sudden, something swooped inside and flew into the large window at the back. I was excited to see I had a butterfly visitor, and even more excited when I realised it was a Milbert's Tortoiseshell! She had a torn wing, but fluttered and flapped almost too much for me to be able to catch her. I opened the door to release her and she flew with strength I wouldn't have expected, torn wing and all. If that's not a lesson in resilience, I don't know what is.
This little butterfly was the only one that didn't sell on my last shop-update, so I decided to give it a make-over. While working on adding a bit more curve to the wing, I pressed too hard and popped off a hinge knuckle. At that point, I decided to give it a major overhaul. I trimmed the edges of the wings, and added a "tear" like the torn wing on the butterfly that flew into my studio. I etched and cut the word "resilient". As I was soldering it to the back, the word itself cracked. The heat from the torch caused some of the 24k gold to diffuse into the silver. Typically, this type of thing, one "mistake" after the other, would frustrate me beyond belief. But, it all seemed so right for this piece. A study in resilience.
The very last photo is her "before" shot.
I do hope she finds a new home. But I'm also perfectly happy wearing her myself ;)
I've also made a dollhouse scale (1:12th) butterfly specimen that you can add if you just like small things, or have a dollhouse, or both!
You an also choose to add the bell-jar cloche display.
Tiny etched Milbert's Tortoiseshell butterfly with two layers of 24K gold fused to fine silver via an ancient technique called Keum Boo. On an 18" oxidized sterling chain with 14k gf beads and a handmade clasp.