Choose your favorite wing, and we'll send you a sweet real butterfly wing on beaded sinew. Hang it in a window, from your rearview mirror, tie back the drapes, tie up the linen napkins, tie it on your dreamcatcher… We've heard a lot of uses for these versatile natural beauties. Look for prisms in the wing under full spectrum lighting.
Choose large beads, or small beads. We'll choose colors that best match the wing. Feel free to make requests in the notes for specific colors, natural stones, swarovski crystals, or particular lengths. Average length is approximately 18". All have a loop at the end for hanging, or pulling the wing through around an object.
Information about our work, and the butterfly you've chosen is included with every order.
PLEASE NOTE: You will not receive the exact butterfly shown. Our work is very consistent, but there will be variances in size and color due to the unique nature of every butterfly. We welcome special requests, and requests for custom work.
1. Herminia Glider (Cymothoe herminia) fore wing. Republic of Central Africa.
2. Leaf-wing Butterfly (Charaxes eupale) fore wing. Republic of Central Africa.
3. Blood Red Glider (Cymothoe sangaris) fore wing. Republic of Central Africa.
4. Short-lined Kite Swallowtail (Eurytides angesilaus) fore wing. Peru.
5. Torquatus Swallowtail (Papilio torquates) fore wing. Peru.
6. Blue Bottle Butterfly (Graphium sarpedon) fore wing. Indonesia.
7. Small Striped Swallowtail (Graphium polycenes) fore wing. Republic of Central Africa.
8. Plain Tiger Monarch (Danaus chrysippus) hind wing. Republic of Central Africa.
*More information about each of these butterflies is listed below.
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..:::How They're Made
This real butterfly wing was carefully crafted using a 12-15 step process. We use about 20 processes total, and only preserve color (we don't add color to our wings). We preserve over 700 types of wings. The process we use depends on the structure of the wing, and in large part the scales of the butterfly wing. Yes, butterfly wings have scales. This is the “powder” covering each wing. All butterfly wings are truly clear. It’s their scales that give them striking colors. These scales also work to repel moisture, and protect the wings. Some are like fine powder; some are like long hairs; and some are barely able to be seen by the naked eye. A few have no scales at all. These scale variations dictate the steps necessary to preserve each wing, along with vein structure, thickness, and other differences. The colors, and sizes of the wings will vary. Each piece is uniquely similar, just like all of us. The top 4 coats on every wing is a two-part jeweler’s grade resin. This renders them waterproof, prismatic in full sun (or under a full-spectrum light bulb), non-toxic, lightweight, and surprisingly durable. The formulas, tools, and methods used over the two weeks it takes to make each wing are custom made by us to suit this unique process.
..:::Where Do You Get the Butterflies?
No, we don’t use tiny harpoons to shoot down helpless butterflies. Our butterflies are purchased from conservation farms around the world, which funds efforts in butterfly repopulation and land conservation efforts. This not only helps the butterfly populations, it also allows us to use gorgeous exotic species! We do use the occasional found butterfly brought to us by gardeners, and travelers, too.
.:::Talismans of Change
Without change, there would be no butterflies. Butterflies are powerful symbols for change. We hope you'll find your butterfly is a talisman of courage for all of life’s changes, and grace for all of life’s choices.
.::: About Us
2 sets of hands spend equal time on each wing made at Isms. The artists are Holly A. Ulm, and Greg A. Sisco. Isms is dedicated to preserving nature through sustainable art; preserving butterfly populations; preserving butterfly habitats; and preserving real life relationships of integrity. We are an artisan family, and our studio is attached to our home in Nisswa, MN. All of our butterfly preserves are truly homemade!
.:::Is there a Need to Help Butterfly Populations?
Invertebrates on our planet have declined approximately 40% in the last 40 years. Monarch butterflies have plummeted in numbers so drastically that they are currently being petitioned for protected status under the endangered species act. There are 9 endangered species of butterfly in North America currently. Butterflies are long distance pollinators. We need ants to pollinate locally, honey bees to pollinate in about a 5 mile radius, AND we need butterflies to carry genetic diversity (up to 50 miles in a day) with their pollination. I'd like to see us work to keep butterflies on our planet. They're beautiful; they don't have stingers (or, suck blood); and they help plants grow for air, food, livestock, and more... I don't know about you, but I'd like to keep eating. The old fashioned way.
10% of every purchase is donated to the start-up of Falter Farm, a conservation effort of indigenous butterfly species in central Minnesota. Thank-you for your support.
*MORE BUTTERFLY INFORMATION
Herminia Glider, fore wing. Cymothoe herminia – Republic of Central Africa. Amber tones with brown. An exceptionally prismatic wing. Expect variations in patterning, and shading, as these are very individualistic butterflies. It is found through vast regions of Africa in lowland and submontane forests. The adults are particularly fond of feeding on fermented fruit.
Leaf-wing Butterfly, fore wing. Charaxes eupale – Republic of Central Africa. Green with tints of brown near the wing tip. Known for their rapid and powerful flight, and stout bodies. The green coloration of their wings, antennae, and proboscis are from pigments, unlike most other green butterflies whose colors are produced structurally by light refracting from microscopic ridges on the surface of the scales, or from a lattice within them. They are found most often singularly in lowlands of Afrotropical rainforest regions ranging from Sengal to Tanzania. Although they may be seen in groups of up to 30 feasting on monkey dung, as their main food sources are minerals from mud, carrion and feces, with occasional feedings on tree sap and rotten fruit. Both sexes spend most of their life in the forest canopy, but males are regularly encountered at ground level. These butterflies have a serrated leading edge to the fore wing, which are used to jostle and “elbow” other butterflies while feeding at carrion or dung. The serration also acts to strengthen the wing, which in combination with their powerful thoracic muscle allow this butterfly to fly with great speed and agility.
Blood Red Glider, fore wing. Cymothoe sangaris – Republic of Central Africa. Deep red with brown tones on the body side of the wing, and dark veins. This species is distributed in the Afrotropical zone throughout forests. The adults spend most of their time on the canopy, but also seek out sunlit spots on the forest floor to feed on decaying vegetation. Some believe this species should be split into separate species based on morphological characteristics (mainly in females) and DNA research, with the new species specialized to one food plant. This new species are slightly more orange, and the larva feed exclusively on Rinorea plant species.
Short-lined Kite Swallowtail, fore wing. Eurytides agesilaus – Peru. Named after Agesilaus II, who was a Eurypontid king of the Ancient Greek city-state of Sparta. White, and dark charcoal stripes with occasional brown undertones.
Torquatus Swallowtail, fore wing. Papilio torquatus – Peru. Black, charcoal, and translucent yellow, with small red spots, and yellow “hearts” and spots near the tail. Gold veins. The larva of these butterflies feed on citrus plants, and disguise themselves as bird droppings. They are highly seasonal butterflies that migrate during dry seasons along riverbeds in wet lowland rainforest areas.
Blue Bottle Butterfly, fore wing. Graphium sarpedon - Indonesia. Black with henna brown undertones near the body, and bold aqua blue spots. This butterfly has approximately 16 subspecies, and inhabits lowland rainforest regions where it is found flying above the tree canopy. Larva feed on laurel trees, including the cinnamon tree. These butterflies have increased their territory to include cinnamon plantations. Known for its quick flight, and rapid reflexes, it is a difficult butterfly to catch.
Small Striped Swordtail Butterfly, fore wing. Graphium policenes – Republic of Central Africa. Green/blue camouflage, with charcoal-brown striping. Common throughout the forest regions of Africa, they inhabit both forest and agricultural lands, extending well into the savannah-zone along gallery forest and riverine thickets. Masses sometimes assemble at mud puddles, and occasionally they migrate. The species is so stable, and vast that subspecies have not all been identified in its wide range from Senegal to Ethiopia and southern Africa.
Plain Tiger Monarch, or African Monarch, hind wing. Danaus chrysippus – Republic of Central Africa. Ombre amber tones fade to white, then clear, with black spots & black scalloped edges. There are 13 types of monarch butterflies in the world, and this is one of them. Monarch (danainae) butterfly means they eat milkweed as larva. This butterfly is believed to be one of the first butterflies to be used in art, as it was the featured subject in a 3500 year-old Egyptian fresco in Luxor. The male of this species is smaller than the female, and more brightly colored. Male monarchs have a number of secondary sexual characteristics. For the Plain Tiger these are: a pouch on the hind wing that is white with a thick black border. It bulges slightly, as it is a cluster of scent scales used to attract females. And, the male has two brush-like organs that can be pushed out of the tip of the abdomen. The range of the Plain Tiger extends from Africa to southern Europe, eastward through Sri Lanka, India, and Myanmar to China, Java and Sulawesi. It is a very common species diverse in habitat ranging from desert to 9000 ft altitudes, but is most commonly found in the regions between. Poisonous, due to alkaloids ingested as larva, this also causes them to fly low, leisurely, and straight. Their easily identified markings allow would-be predators ample time to recognize them for avoidance. They have been the source of mimicry, as edible butterflies evolve to seek the same protection.
Expect fast turn around times through the USPS. Special shipping services available upon request.
Just contact me within: 14 days of delivery
Ship items back to me within: 30 days of delivery
Request a cancellation within: 2 hours of purchase
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
Please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
If you have a problem, we'll figure out a solution. We're pretty nice about things. We're from Minnesota. It's in our contract.