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Frozen in time: The artist who makes creepy crawlies into part-insect, part-machine masterpieces


Artist Lindsey Bessanson pins a stag beetle to a piece of Styrofoam so the insect can harden into the position she wants

Like a scene from a Tim Burton movie, these robo-insects will make your skin crawl.
From 6in long scorpions to tarantulas as big as your hand, these creepy crawlies have been captured, frozen and given a new life as part-insect part-machine art masterpieces.
Artist Lindsey Bessanson spends many happy hours freeze-drying, spreading and arranging a tarantula or six-inch scorpion into an incredible work of art.

A stag beetle in its packaging in preparation for rehydration in Mesa, Arizona

'I started with making insect jewellery around 2003,' said Lindsey, from Arizona. 'I'd buy dead insects online and cast them in sterling silver.
'My first dung beetle made me want to start working with the actual insects as art instead of casting them - It was a brilliant purple colour.
'Sometimes the casting just isn't as beautiful as the original bug. They can be very jewel-like in themselves.'

Lindsey Bessanson's incredible piece titled Desert Hairy Scorpion with metallic gears (Hadrurus Arizonensis)

Buying her insects from a mix of eBay sellers and specialist entomologist sites, Lindsey takes the dried specimens and puts them through a humidifier for a couple of days.
This process allows her to open up the wings and legs, fan them out and position them.
When she finds a very good-looking insect around her home, she'll have her husband place it in the freezer for a quick, humane death before it is immortalised as art.

Lindsey Bessanson poses with a print of the Avicularia Purpurea, or Purple Bird Eating Tarantula

'I can't even give them the last, "Okay you're going to die now..." speech. It's too sad,' said Lindsey.
To produce her robo-bugs Lindsey took the insect apart, strengthen each joint with metal and then put it back together again.
Each insect sculpture can take her up to two weeks to complete.

Lindsey Bessanson holds a Tarantula Hawk Wasp (right) and (left) a necklace given to the artist by her husband for their first Valentine's Day in 2003

Lindsey Bessanson spent many hours freeze-drying, spreading and arranging a tarantula into this incredible work of art

Each insect sculpture can take her up to two weeks to complete and sell for between £75 and £190

Part-machine: Lindsey Bessanson's Purple Dung Beetle with metallic gears

As word has spread about Lindsey's intriguing pastime, friends and acquaintances have brought interesting insects to her.
'A work colleague of mine is fascinated by what I do, and she'll have her nephew hunt down insects and bring them in to the office.
'I'll be working on something and she'll come by and put a massive bee on my desk.'
Lindsey's art works sell for between £75 and £190, but she also sells prints of her most popular pieces.

source: dailymail