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A collection of butterflies, like those in this linocut, is called 'a kaleidoscope', suggesting a flutter of colourful, symmetric, beauties. I am making a series on the weird and wonderful terms of venery - the collective nouns for groups of animals (and other things). Some are evocative, some strange and obscure. This is the fifth in a series of such prints.

This lino block print is printed in black ink on Japanese kozo (or mulberry) paper 12.5 inches by 12 inches, or 31.7 cm by 30.5 cm in dimension, in an edition of twelve. Each butterfly involves 'chine collé' (collaged, delicate, Japanese paper) for their glorious colour. They are arrayed with a three-fold symmetry, like images in a toy kaleidoscope. There are three each of the orange Isabella's Longwings (Nymphalidae Eueides isabella), three yellow Eastern tiger swallowtails (Papilio glaucus), and three blue Red-Spotted Purples (Limenitis arthemis astyanax).

For this series, I'm designing the typography to match the subjects. The word 'kaleidoscope' has clean, simple, and where possible circular or linear lines, like the toy itself. The word 'Butterflies' starts with a butterfly 'B', and encorporates one butterfly in its midst and wing shapes in the 'f' and 'l' and even a tiny butterfly in the dot on the 'i'.

As you might imagine, I do love butterflies, and, like moths, they have figured previously in my prints. Butterflies are quite amazing creatures and it's not surprising that they are an important symbol to many cultures. I think they are growing in popularity, and like to say, "Butterflies are the new pirates," but I'm not sure anyone believes me. This print was rather complex to design, carve and print, but I think it's worth it.

My feelings about moths are expressed here:

Other terms of venery prints are here:

A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies Linocut - Terms of Venery, Collective Noun for Animals, Insects, Butterflies, Typography, Lino Block Print



  • Handmade item
  • Height: 12.5 Inches
  • Width: 12 Inches
  • Materials: ink, linoleum, paper, washi, kozo paper
  • Ships worldwide from Canada
  • Feedback: 323 reviews
  • Favorited by: 63 people