Hello everyone! This is Jamie Louks, owner of Sugarnova in Seattle and US Ambassador for Innovative Sugarworks, and today we get to talk BUGS!
Have you ever walked into an oddities store, gazed at the taxidermy displays and thought to yourself "I should make that out of food!" No? Just me?? Well, that is exactly where the inspiration for my Edible Taxidermy Insect Collection came from. These insects are sculpted almost entirely from modeling chocolate, with some other edible accents.
As a kid, I wanted to be an entomologist (aka buggy scientist person). As time went on, I was drawn to sugar for my adult occupation, yet my love of unique, amazing, and colorful insects has stayed strong! For this collection, I wanted to showcase the incredible rainbow of colors found in the insect world. Here's the line-up:
The Frog Legged Leaf Beetle
This insect is covered in an iridescent rainbow and the males have MASSIVE hind legs for wrestling with! I created a female, which has significantly smaller hind legs. Replicating her smooth shell and iridescent coloring proved to be a challenge, but I am happy with how she turned out. The bottom of her feet are covered in almond flour to mimic the "furry" look of the beetle's feet.
The Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly
They come in many different colors and have almost 360 degree vision. They can also eat insects or small animals their own size or bigger! This little cutie is only about 3" tall. Its wings were created by painting gelatin over a small piece of wire and gently cutting out the shape with an X-acto blade.
The Luna Moth
They look so soft and fluffy, I just wanna snuggle with it! Fun fact, adult luna moths do not have digestive systems. Weird.
I loved making his cute little chubby body and his rice paper antennae.
The Peacock Spider
He's my FAVORITE! Do yourself a favor and watch this video of the peacock spider right now!
So cute, so tiny, and the BEST dancer! I made my spider about a billion times larger than they are in real life so I could get in all those amazing details.
The hairs on his mandibles we placed one at a time and took forever! I also had to dry him hanging upside down to make sure his legs dried securely and didn't droop.
The Orchid Mantis
This insect is almost too beautiful for words. Those colors. Those crazy lanky legs. That insatiable appetite for prey! Their body mimics the petal of an orchid and they can even gradually change colors to mimic a change in environment. She was definitely the most difficult insect to create. The shape of her head is so unusual that I remade it 3 times before I was satisfied.
My Edible Taxidermy Collection now lives on display in my kitchen and adds just that perfect level of quirk and oddity to my workspace. What will be my next strange inspiration??
If you'd like to keep up with Jamie and see exactly what her next strange inspiration produces, follow her on social media: