No pins, no glass: free to come and go as they please

I always loved butterflies. I used to collect them as a child, but at some point I stopped. I couldn’t bear having to kill them.

Now, in my project “Song of the Butterfly”, I create each one from recycled wood and paint it by hand. I frame them with their (scientific) names, but without glass and without pins: they’re free, as it were, to come and go as they please.

Living in the Netherlands, I chose to con­cen­trate on native species, and I intentionally create only existing ones: this is my humble ode to nature. My pieces are, however, slightly larger than life-size: so, while still looking real, their beauty and presence are even more prominent.

A selection of these handmade butterflies is presented below.


Some time around 1975...  

Plain Tiger
plain tiger
Danaus chrysippus
16.2 × 12 cm

European Peacock
european peacock
Aglais io
17.2 × 13.6 cm

Small Tortoiseshell
small tortoiseshell
Aglais urticae
17.2 × 13.8 cm

Red Admiral
red admiral
Vanessa atalanta
14 x 11 cm

Orange Tip
orange tip
Anthocharis cardamines, male & female
23 × 13 cm

Cabbage White
cabbage white
Pieris rapae
14 x 11 cm

Hummingbird hawk-moth
hummingbird hawk-moth
Macroglossum stellatarum
14 × 11.5 cm

Peach Blossom
peach blossom
Thyatira batis
14.5 x 11.5 cm

Eyed hawk-moth
eyed hawk-moth
Smerinthus ocellatus
18 × 13 cm

Lime hawk-moth
lime hawk-moth
Mimas tiliae
16.5 × 13 cm

Willowherb hawkmoth
willowherb hawkmoth
Proserpinus proserpina
16.5 × 13 cm



exhibition elisabeth vreedehuis

Song of the Butterfly is on exhibition at the gallery of Elisabeth Vreedehuis from August 23 to October 6, 2022

new work

I regulartly share new work in progress on social media: Facebook and Instagram



All the pieces are for sale and can be shipped internationally. Each image links to a separate page with price and details.

New pieces are added regularly. I may accept commissions, and I’m happy to answer questions; please contact me.


the process

Watch on YouTube a video of the whole process, from a piece of wood to a framed butterfly:



i Research and drawing

Each piece begins with a shape study: which silhouette is the most distinctive and recognizable? I then make precise outline drawings.

ii Sawing

I glue the drawings to fine-grained, recycled cherry wood and use a jigsaw to cut out the shapes.

iii Basic shaping

I use mechanical sanders to get the basic three dimensional form.

iv Fine shaping

With multi-tools, jewelers files, scalpels and sand­paper I fine tune and add subtle detail. I finish with a thin layer of artist primer.

v Painting

I use various colourfast, pigment-rich pencils and watercolors for painting.

vi Finishing

The final result is sealed with protective matt varnish. For every piece, I make a frame that best suits its size, shape and colour.



eyal holtzman

Eyal Holtzman

I studied Graphic & Typo­graphic Design, gradu­ating from the Royal Academy of Art (kabk) in The Hague in 1996. I have been active as an inde­pendent artist, designer and lecturer, teaching at art academies in Holland and China. Since 2007 I have been co-running graphic design agency Studio Eyal & Myrthe, specializing in books and typography.


* In this website I used my own typeface Kristal, which is available at type foundry Bold Monday.





Whatsapp: +31-6-1909-5460

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“Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible”

paul klee