Friday, 13 September 2013

Materials and Techniques - 'Flights Of Fancy'

An unusual materials and techniques interview today. Anita is from Toowoomba, Queensland and she creates the most incredible items out of dead insects and butterflies, as well as other upcycled components. Her store, Flights of Fancy, is filled with all sorts of jewellery, accessories and décor and today she is telling us about how she creates her pieces.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I am a mother to 2 amazing children [ed: Kayla and Noah, who have their own Madeit stores] who bring me joy (as well as the usual daily struggles of strong wills) and happiness. I have an amazing hubby who supports my creativity even though the house may sometimes not be as clean as a result.

I am very blessed to have been raised by a Mum that had a love for making things and instilled that in me from a very early age. So many different art or craft activities were lovingly and patiently shown to me.

What materials and techniques do you like to use?
I get bored easily so I like to switch between various mediums. I create using upcycled materials, wire, metal, leather, resin and material.

My favourite material is my butterfly wing and insect jewellery. These are ethically obtained through registered breeders once they have lived out their life and then I get to transform them into something that they can then be treasured for much longer than their natural lifespan would allow. I have spent a few years perfecting a process by which some pieces are handpainted in resin so that their natural beauty is preserved and have managed to now achieve a 3D style pose so that they look even more natural once complete.

I also enjoy electroforming which is the process by which a natural item, such as an acorn, can be coated in copper via a process using electricity and acid.

What challenges have you faced in the creative process?

When I first delved into my butterfly and resin work I had some dismal failures! I didn't realise that simply adding resin would drown out the light refracting scales on the butterflies' wings and I ended up with some brown sticky messes in the beginning. With any problem, do not give up! By trying new methods and by lots of research I eventually found the perfect solution which allows me to retain the stunning colours found in nature.

What drives you to create? 

For me creating is my therapy. I suffer from some health issues and I find that by creating it serves as a great distraction and helps divert my attention to something else. I find inspiration in nature mainly and in whimsical things like fairytales and fantasy. Sometimes a piece just jumps into my head and I need to create it, other times I find by pulling out various supplies a picture starts to form in my head.

What is coming up next?

I am dying to get my hands on some metalworking tools and to make more items from scratch and delve into other areas to complement my current range.

All images have been provided by Anita from Flights of Fancy.

Read the previous materials and techniques interviews. I do love finding out about new creative ideas. If you would like to share your materials and techniques on this Blog, please drop me a line.


  1. Thanks so much for the opportunity to share about my products <3

    1. No problem. Thanks for being fantastic!

  2. Gorgeous photo of Anita and great interview. She is definitely one talented lady :)