If you have ever been into the shop or browsed our website, you’ve likely seen the wide selection of professionally mounted butterflies, moths, and other insects we offer. The art and practice of spreading and mounting insects is called Entomology. The scientific study of insects, a fine branch of zoology, dates back to the 16thcentury, but exploded in popularity in the 19thand 20thcentury with many notable figures finding their way into the hobby – think Charles Darwin and Jean-Henri Casimir Fabre, two infamous naturalists.
If you have ever wanted to learn the art of rehydrating dead insects, mounting and spreading them, and ultimately mounting them in a frame for your own collection, you are in luck. Every couple of months we offer workshop classes on entomology. Taught by store manager, and yours truly, I guide you through mounting butterflies and beetles and give you the know-how to practice the art on your own, at home, in just 1.5 hours time!
Included in the class fee (besides your seat) are: a hydration chamber, mounting board, pins, glassine paper, and multiple insects and butterflies to take home and practice on your own. In the class itself, we mount three moths and/or butterflies, and two beetles of varying size and species. This covers the ‘favorites’ of the bug world and collecting, but we also have an arachnid Halloween-themed class coming up in October where you can learn to mount scorpions and spiders for more spooky fun! We cover the materials we will be utilizing and get straight to work pinning those butterflies and beetles!
I now own my own business working with Lepidoptera, Dream Wings Jewelry (also carried in the shop), and work at Curious Nature a few days a week, but I got my start mounting butterflies and moths in my mom’s garage. I oversee the mounting of our special moth and butterfly specimens, as well as making more ornate and dramatic displays that eventually get put out for sale.
The most rewarding part of teaching these classes every couple months is seeing how excited every student is to learn. Watching someone’s love and admiration for nature bloom is what we strive for here at Curious Nature, so this class is a sure fire way for me to witness it first-hand.
Besides that, each student somehow manages to surprise me with their natural skill, even if it’s their first time trying out the hobby for themselves! When I first started out, without taking any classes and trying desperately to learn on my own, there were many trial and error evenings where my butterflies were ripped and falling apart, beetles were losing legs right and left, and my spiders were floppy and overhydrated! Yikes! Luckily I have learned my lesson enough times that I can now show you how to mount your insects with little-to-no damage, even if you have no prior experience!
What are you waiting for? Seats are limited! Sign up here for our August 14th class.