The Mantises

IVES FELT ART, hand dyed felted painting / shawl. REIS_D20150807JR1; Contact the studio for rights to upload or publish this photo
IVES FELT ART, hand dyed felted painting / shawl. REIS_D20150807JR1; Contact the studio for rights to upload or publish this photo
IVES FELT ART, hand dyed felted painting / shawl. REIS_D20150807JR1; Contact the studio for rights to upload or publish this photo
IVES FELT ART, hand dyed felted painting / shawl. REIS_D20150807JR1; Contact the studio for rights to upload or publish this photo

Wool: plant and insect dyes, wet felted

Praying mantises are a rare sight in the US. Their ferocious bodies are very beautiful. Their arms and legs are covered with deadly spikes, which grab and slice like tiny knives. Here, they are doing their mating dance in the midst of a flower garden, close up. The males are hardly ever seen, since soon after they dance and mate, the female bites off his head and eats it! Hence the saying, “I hope he doesn’t loose his head over her”. When you see her, she’s likely already eaten him and pregnant. They eat mites and aphids, which are a great help for gardeners. If worn, the dance is on the wearer’s back. If you let natural aphid and mite predators live in your garden, there is no need for pesticides and herbicides. Praying mantises, along with other aphid eaters such as skunks, do the work of keeping your garden plants healthy instead. We need to look upon the natural world as fascinating and something that needs to be left alone to do it’s job of keeping the environment in balance. When the balance is tipped, the system falls apart. Dyed with madder, cochineal, fustic, fruit, vegetables, color grown wool, tree wood, indigo in a non toxic organic vat.

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