MARYLAND, USA — Rebekah Raible is a talented artist and nature-lover who has a fear of bugs. But she sucked it up to create intricate earrings out of cicada wings.
She says that the last big brood of those bugs came out when she was just 10-years-old. The Brood X emergence reminds her of her childhood when the last billion bug-eyed creatures crawled out of the ground.
She explained how, to her, the earrings feel like a wearable piece of nostalgia and embody her deep admiration for nature.
“I didn't think it was possible, but it's brought on more of an appreciation for nature as well. . . . I mean, they're just so beautiful... the veining and the wings; the translucency," she described. “Nature amazes me. It's just a privilege to be able to work with it.”
Raible said that she ensures the cicadas she creates the jewelry with are already dead before she picks the wings and that it’s often a challenge to find them still perfectly intact - good enough to wear. She calls her process for choosing the wings “ethical sourcing.”
“Even though they live six, eight weeks, they deserve that life, no matter how short,” she said.
Raible recently began experimenting with jewelry-making and started by creating similar earrings with dried flowers. She now employs a similar method to make the earrings with the cicada wings.
“When I'm passionate about something, which includes nature . . . I just feel most at home out with plants and animals and stuff. So [creating the cicada earrings] is something that I can get behind. That's something I'm passionate about. And that's something that I want adorning my body.”
Find Raible’s Etsy link, where she sells her earrings, by clicking here.
Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.
Sign up for the Capitol Breach email newsletter, delivering the latest breaking news and a roundup of the investigation into the Capitol Riots on January 6, 2021.