The Labrador Sulphur (Colias nastes) is a small butterfly usually seen in July and August in Labrador. I wanted this piece to be like a photograph, carving a moment in time with a butterfly sitting on sea-grass in the sun. The butterfly is a little larger than in reality but I felt it needed to be a bigger to make a stronger visual impact on the grass.
This was another difficult piece to carve, balance and assemble. The grass is all one piece of caribou antler and not pieces joined together. It was a big challenge to make as I did not sand this piece down but instead carved the caribou antler slowly and carefully with my dremel-tool to make it the same thinness as real sea-grass. Every few minutes I had to hold the grass up to the light to see how thin it was becoming and to make sure I did not carve through it. The grass would be in perfect scale to real sea-grass here in Labrador.
The butterfly is carved in ivory but the real tricky part was making the legs and antenna. Each leg and antenna is a baleen hair that is carefully heated and bent. I went through many legs to get these six!!! It was fun making this piece as I really like butterflies.
Billy was born on July 7, 1978, in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador. In his early years he travelled eastern Canada residing and schooling in Ottawa, Yarmouth and Halifax in Nova Scotia, then at the age of thirteen returned to live in Goose Bay. He now lives in North West River in Labrador and enjoys fishing and hunting on the land with his family.
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