Handmade: Introducing Glasscicada
Glasscicada is a stunning and innovative jewelry project launched in 2013 by Sydney native, Lulamay Craufurd-Gormly.
By collecting insects and flowers to set in resin for necklaces Lulamay has created a label that explores the quiet intricacies of nature, providing customers with their own unique and beautiful entomological museums. Lulamay’s care for detail as well as the handcrafted intimacy of her work has earned her a lot of attention and – with an inexorable creative background – she is always looking to expand her work.
When did you first start practicing with resin?
Almost 2 years ago. My mum had excess glass coat she used to finish a bench top and I thought I could do something neat with the rest. Gave it a red hot go.
How did you go about perfecting the process?
I have far from perfected the process but I am getting better at tackling the quirks of using resin. It’s actually quite difficult at times because working around delicate bodies and flowers without damaging them can be fiddly as hell and air bubbles are the bane of my existence.
Then I also forge the casing by hand with pliers and tin snips, which is a rough but simple way to create shapes. I like the end result, but I guess there’s always room for improvement. For now I'm just making things for fun and in my own time.
Have you always had a knack for craft and building things so comfortably with your hands?
Yeah, I was a very arty kid and have gone through many phases… painting, drawing, sewing, collage, woodwork and prop making. But in this madness of collecting I’ve found my niche and the work I'm doing now is what makes my heart sing. Making things with my hands is definitely a therapy for me and I’m also a cook so I guess I'm always building something, even if it’s lunch.
What is the concept behind Glasscicada?
The specimen behind glass. When I started with resin I was making pendant cicada wings that I had collected over the years because they’ve fascinated me since I was a kid. I still make them but not as frequently as my collecting has taken off and my practice has changed.
Where do you collect all of your insects and flora for your pieces?
I only collect insects that I’ve found dead, apart from the odd patiently awaited wasp extermination. More than any other insect I find bees most, either dead or dying on the footpath, which shows how apparent the decline in the number of bees is. Mostly I have trained my keen eyes to find insects in plain sight, but I also know where to look- windowsills, dusty corners, flower pots, gutters… My friends and family collect for me too. As for flowers, I pick little samples whenever I see something I like.
Why were you attracted to cicadas in particular?
I have been collecting them and their wings for years and I guess because Sydney summers are relentless, there was always cicadas to collect. But they’re beautiful and strange and also the fact they visit us in incredible numbers, reigning in those long hot nights makes me fond of them.
Why do you think people have such an enthusiastic response to your jewellery?
You can own and carry something intricate, from the world around you that you might not get to see up close very often. Each piece is completely unique and involves a second life for a little insect who did its lived its life, died, and then was somehow spotted by me.
Can you tell us about any upcoming plans or projects that you have in the works?
A few friends and I are planning a group show of art and music towards the end of the year which will be the first time exhibiting some of my resin pieces in the flesh. It’s high time I stop hoarding and make room for new work. I have big ideas for a resin tabletop of my wasp nest collection, but that’s a bridge to cross in the new year.
Where can we find your jewellery online?