INSPIRATION for the Ladybird Ornament
Few insects capture the spirit of childhood and carry it all the way through to adulthood as the ladybird. For many, it was an obvious candidate for the “British Wildlife” aspect of my collection, alongside my Queen Bee and Stag Beetle – but not for me. Their glorious vibrant red and their vivid spots are what sets them apart – neither of which is easy to capture in a monochrome silver palate. But in terms of character, symbolism and sentimentality – they absolutely belong in my collection. I resisted many calls for a ladybird – but when my sister asked me to model a ladybird for my niece, I finally gave in. And this is how the smallest of my ornaments, the ladybird ornament, came to be.
I chose the 7-Spot Ladybird as my model. It is a common ladybird in the UK and, artistically, has a nice balace of spots across it’s back. Initially I modelled it to scale – which is really very small. I also had to decide how to capture those spots in silver. Initially, I modelled them protruding from the wing cases – so that they were proper spots which captured the light. Unfortunately, they had the effect of rounding off the quite angular shape of the ladybird (wing cases to underneath). And Ladybird Mk I (aka Piggy due to it’s resemblance to a pig) was condemned to my drawer of shame. This model is marginally larger than in reality and has the spots scribed into the wing cases. A much more pleasing solution!