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.

The handmade butterflies presented below are all for sale. Each links to a separate page with a price and details.

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

Some time around 1975...  

Plain Tiger
plain tiger
Danaus chrysippus
16.2 × 12 cm

Cabbage White
cabbage white
Pieris rapae
14 x 11 cm

Red Admiral
red admiral
Vanessa atalanta
14 x 11 cm

Small Tortoiseshell
small tortoiseshell
Aglais urticae
13.5 × 11.5 cm

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

Angle Shades
angle shades
Phlogophora meticulosa
13.5 × 10 cm

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

Willowherb hawkmoth
willowherb hawkmoth
Proserpinus proserpina
16.5 × 13 cm

Elephant hawk-moth
elephant hawk-moth
Deilephila elpenor
18 × 13 cm


the process


i Research and drawing

Each piece begins with a shape study: what makes it distinctive and recognizable? I then make precise outline drawings.

ii Sawing

I glue the drawings to fine-grained, recycled 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, knives, 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, watercolors and inks 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