Hubert Duprat is a self-taught artist whose career began in the ‘80’s. Inspired by entomologist J.-H. Fabre’s work, Duprat created self-developing micro-sculptures using the pronymphs of Trichoptera insects. These create a protective cocoon of small objects they find around them, e.g.with pieces of wood, pebbles, sand, parts of live or dead leaves etc.and they unite them with excretions of silk.
Taking the pronymphs out of the cocoon they have made in a natural environment, Duprat put them in a specially arranged aquarium and gave them some pieces of gold, pearls and other precious stones. He carefully directed the making of cocoons, by regulating the quantity or even by injuring the cover, so that the repairs done by the insect could have a particular artistic touch.
Hubert Duprat had a patent registered for this procedure in the hope that his objects would attract the interest of some jewel makers. His idea hasn’t been turned into a jewel yet, but it created a stir among artists and scientists who found his experiment rather unique. You can read here an interview unfolding further details of his work.