Aaron's Profile

About

My name is Aaron and I live in the dark rolling hills of the Driftless region in Southwestern Wisconsin with my daughters. My love and fascination of moths and butterflies began one day when I came across some creepy cocoons hanging on some curly willow branches. I worked at a large flower farm where these trees were about to be cut and the cocoons destroyed so I felt I had to save them, not knowing what they were I set them in my car somewhere and eventually forgot about them. A week or so later I was driving down the street when something huge and soft began flapping around the car and in my face. I might have screamed a little bit but when I saw it was a beautiful moth, I couldn't believe it!!! What I found out later after some research was that I had the largest silk moth in North America, a Cecropia and I was hooked.
Every Spring and Summer on the flower farm I noticed alot of butterflies would fly…

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  • Male
  • Born on July 8
  • Joined January 29, 2011

Favorite materials

Butterfly and Moth wings, Solder, Glass

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lonesomehobo
Handmade Geometric Glass Terrariums

About

My name is Aaron and I live in the dark rolling hills of the Driftless region in Southwestern Wisconsin with my daughters. My love and fascination of moths and butterflies began one day when I came across some creepy cocoons hanging on some curly willow branches. I worked at a large flower farm where these trees were about to be cut and the cocoons destroyed so I felt I had to save them, not knowing what they were I set them in my car somewhere and eventually forgot about them. A week or so later I was driving down the street when something huge and soft began flapping around the car and in my face. I might have screamed a little bit but when I saw it was a beautiful moth, I couldn't believe it!!! What I found out later after some research was that I had the largest silk moth in North America, a Cecropia and I was hooked.
Every Spring and Summer on the flower farm I noticed alot of butterflies would fly into the greenhouses to check out the wares and then try to take off, only to be trapped and perish quickly in the intense heat near the ceiling. I would sometimes find them in a corner somewhere and marvel at their beauty and tuck them safely away, usually after being yelled at to get back to work and to stop playing with butterflies, always thinking that there was something I could do with these precious wings that would do them justice and not let them go to waste. After a few years of this I had shoe boxes full! I started to teach myself glass cutting how to solder and over time and trials I found a way to preserve the wings and allow them to be enjoyed and handled and inspected closely with my jewelry.
After the word was out, friends and family would give me what they had found at gas stations, parking lots and porch lights and my collection really grew. I read once that during an average week in summer there are more butterflies killed by cars on American roads than the total taken by all the collectors in history. People are often appalled that I would make lasting, heirloom jewelry from butterflies without even realizing what is happening to their radiators while they are zipping here and there on a beautiful Summers day.
For the tropical species I use, I trade jewelry for the wings of butterflies that have lived their full lives and died naturally in Museum arboretums or butterfly gardens around the country. These are large indoor gardens where butterflies live in a flowered, predator free world and are great for inspiring a love of nature and educational purposes.
Usually after a long day and the kids are all in bed I will head down to the basement and peacefully work on my jewelry. With a beer and some music softly playing I will carefully examine the wing I am working on, noting the fraying on the edges, and wonder in my minds eye where this particular butterfly has flown. What has it seen? Where has it been? What wild and untouched flowered meadows has it visited on it's journey to me? When I work on my butterfly and moth collages where I cut out the useable parts of an often unuseable flight-worn wing, I reflect on how wonderful it would be if we could all just cut away the undesirable and unwanted parts of ourselves and celebrate and marvel at the unique beauty that was right there all along. I finish up. Turn off the lights, check on my sleeping beauties and go to bed.
I hope you will enjoy the wings:)
hailthetripods [!at] gmail.com
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@lonesomehoboglass

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