The praying mantis is an amazing insect who has been always fascinating me. Some time ago I was visiting Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art in Haifa when I saw a beautiful box decorated with an image of two praying mantises. The full title reads "Stationery box (Suzuri Bako), 18th c. Flowers and two praying-mantises. Lacquered wood. Design in gold hiramaki-e and mother-of-pearl inlay. Tikotin collection". This experience has become the catalyst for my decision to make a quilled praying mantis.
First, I spent some time studying the structure of praying mantis and sketching, then made two simple mantises, one of them can be seen in the Flower basket, the other one hasn't been used yet. Finally, I tried to create a three-dimensional design. Here's the result.
For this project I used both pre-cut and hand-cut paper strips. The body was made using the three-dimensional quilling techniques, 3/16-inch-wide strips (about 5mm). It consists of an abdomen (two parts) and a thorax (one part). The head is made up of two parts — a tight coil of 1/8-inch-wide strip (3mm), and a ring rolled using a 1/16-inch-wide strip (1.5mm) at the back. 1/16-inch strips were used also for he eyes and other small parts of the head. The legs were created with the traditional coiling technique from 1/8- and 1/16-inch-wide strips (3mm and 1.5mm accordingly). For the wings I employed the husking technique, with narrow 1/16-inch-wide (1.5mm) paper strips.
I made this 3D quilled mantis as a gift, so now I have only the photographs left. Its size is about 3 inches (7.6cm) in length and 2 and a half inches (6.4cm) in height.