Local Designer

Adrienne Antonson’s Bugs

The NuBe Green designer makes insects out of human hair. Yeah. Insects, human hair.

By Laura Cassidy November 18, 2011


You hear a lot about sustainable materials these days—typically bamboo, cork, recycled rubber. What about hair though? Hair? Yeah, hair.

Along with salvaged worn-in silk, soft thrift store denim, and vintage cashmere wool, it’s a favored medium of Adrienne Antonson, the until-just-recently Vashon-based artist and designer known for her collection of vaguely 80s Japanese-feeling repurposed and rebuilt clothing at NuBe Green. She uses it (the hair) to craft—get this—highly accurate models of bugs.

Of course, working with hair isn’t new. Many an upright and proper Victorian lady crocheted it into mourning jewelry; they wove it into bracelets and coiled it under glass.

But Antonson has always liked bugs, see. They’re tiny and miraculous and curious, so she collects hair (her own, that of friends and maybe family) and meticulously winds, shapes, twists, and otherwise coaxes it into spot-on replicas of her favorite insects.

Recently, Ripley’s Believe It or Not bought up her collection. Hair being about as replenishable as any resource you can imagine (which is totally the point), she made more.

(And yeah, believe it or not, Ripley’s is still around, and apparently buying stuff from artists.)

Check out the slideshow here to see some of Antonson’s recent work and learn how she relates silk shirts to silkworms and so forth.

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