Friday, December 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Entomologist shows his creative side with bronze stick insects

stick insects matan shelomiW

These bronze stick insects are part of Matan Shelomi's display at the UC Davis Craft Center Gallery. Kathy Keatley Garvey/Courtesy photo

By
From page A7 | January 02, 2014 |

Matan Shelomi, a doctoral candidate in entomology at UC Davis, will show off the creative and artistic side of his career at a solo exhibition, “Flat Fusion Five,” from Jan. 6 through Feb. 7 at the UCD Craft Center Gallery.

The exhibition includes bronze stick insects and a series of digital prints of colorful cockroaches.

The opening reception will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, and Shelomi will be present to answer questions. The gallery is in the South Silo building on the UCD campus.

Shelomi, who studies with major professor Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, has volunteered at the Craft Center since his graduate school enrollment at UC Davis in the fall of 2009. He has taken many of the evening and weekend classes offered there, from flame-working to wood-turning to bookbinding.

The most popular items are his bronze stick insects. Shelomi’s dissertation is on the digestive physiology of stick insects (Phasmatodea), for which he uses the many phasmids reared at the Bohart Museum for research and for public display.

How does he make the bronze replicas?

When a stick insect dies (of natural causes), Shelomi takes the hard exoskeleton to the Craft Center, mounts it with wax channels called “sprues,” and embeds it in plaster. He then heats the combination in a kiln until all organic matter, including the insect, is burned away, leaving a plaster mold with a cavity in the shape of a stick insect.

Shelomi then pours the molten metal, such as bronze or pewter, into the mold using a spin-caster machine. Each mold can be used only once, but the result is a metal copy of the insect with most of the details, from the spines to the delicate mouthparts, fully preserved.

The techniques to do this are taught in the lost wax casting class at the Craft Center.

Another display in the exhibition is a series of digital prints of colorful cockroaches, from pinks to greens to blues. These were made by injecting some of the feeder cockroaches used in the Bohart Museum with histological dyes, a process known as “vital staining” that played a big role in Shelomi’s dissertation research. Each stain colors different tissues of the insect with different intensities, and can be used to identify anatomical features.

Other pieces include relief prints of cicadas, ceramic ants and an oil painting of a carabid beetle, as well as several works that are not inspired by entomology but showcase “the variety of media and materials one can work with at the Craft Center,” Shelomi said.

Some of the pieces at Shelomi’s solo exhibition will be available for purchase after the show. For more information, contact him at mshelomi@ucdavis.edu.

Shelomi, active in entomological circles, received the 2013 John Henry Comstock Award from the Pacific Branch of the Entomological Society of America and is a member of the UCD debate team that won the national 2013 ESA Student Debate championship. He regularly answers entomological questions on Quora.

The Craft Center, which offers more than 90 classes each quarter, is open on Thursdays from 12:30 to 10 p.m., Fridays from 12:30 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Comments

comments

Kathy Keatley Garvey

.

News

Teens’ goal? Helping other soccer players around the world

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
There’s a plate for you at the Davis Holiday Meal

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
UCD, UC team up to study effects of climate change

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Gunfire leads to DUI arrest

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Police seek suspect in hit-and-run collision

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Help sought in search for runaway Davis teen

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Feds release ‘framework’ to rate colleges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Creative women share food, friendship

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Welcome 2015 with Mumbo Gumbo at a gala bash

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Blue Christmas service planned at Davis churches

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Willett bench is a labor of love

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4

Author! Author! UCD hosts talks, Q and A on Asia-focused books

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
See diving ducks at city wetlands tour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Libraries will be closed around the holidays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Downtown gift cards get a new perk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

 
Meditation, Buddhism classes offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Nobel Prize winner will discuss research related to autism

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
A home for the holidays?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Traditional carols service is Saturday at St. Martin’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Explorit: Experience nano this spring

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Donate to STEAC at Original Steve’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Grandmothers support group meets weekly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

.

Forum

He needs them to pay up

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A14

Cheers and Jeers: Have you ever seen the rain?

By Our View | From Page: A14

 
Defeating Ebola involves medicine, and prayers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14 | Gallery

Kudos to Central Park Gardens donors and volunteers

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

 
.

Sports

Lady Blue Devils rout an undefeated Liberty squad

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
UCD RB coach Wright heads to Florida; what next?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Aggies nab junior college defensive lineman

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Cousins is back in lineup but Kings fall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devil boys hold off scrappy Rio Linda

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Nostra-Dunning makes his college bowl picks

By Bob Dunning | From Page: B2

Tennyson’s first goal is the difference in Sharks win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

 
.

Features

Name droppers: Trio elected to academy of inventors

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Arts

‘Before Midnight’ screening is tonight

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

 
DMTC plans New Year’s Eve party

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

Tom Rigney and Flambeau to play

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

 
 
DMTC announces auditions for ‘Sweeney Todd’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

 
.

Business

After 19 years, Alfa Romeo returns

By Ann M. Job | From Page: A16

 
.

Obituaries

Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
.

Comics