Beetle Juice

27 September 2011

Beetle Juice

This is shellac and it's a resin that's been excreted by an Indian (female) "lac" beetle.

This cocoon-like tunnel was scraped off the bark of a tree - where the beetle excreted it -  and can be processed for uses which include primers, food glaze and wood varnish. Interesting fact: prior to the advent of vinyl, shellac was used to make records.

This lovely sample is one of the Materials Library's most recent additions...

The Materials Library, at the heart of the Institute of Making, will open its doors in the Somerset House in early 2012.  Join our mailing list and be the first to be notified when we're ready to take visitors.