If I may suggest, try a local entomology department at a college or museum. I can share that my mother wanted to do this at one time herself as an Artist which got us all the way to the Smithsonian, and me into a having a keen interest of zoological and museum sciences. As far as I know (things may have changed some in the chemical treatments and other modalities of technique and formulations) these iridescent colors and other qualities are "muted" or lost after the animal has died and continues to degrade further if exposed at all to UV light. This happens in fish, reptiles, birds, and most living thing with these types of colors.
Good Luck, and let us know what you have learned,
What exactly are you trying to seal them for? just curious
One thing that does come up time and again is that pressing them between glass is a sure way to maintain the colors. Perhaps you could find some super thin glass like the cover slips used for microscopy and use those to sandwich the wings. Once sandwiched, seal the edges of the glass with superglue or resin. If you embedded that in some epoxy, you might be able to maintain the colors and obtain nice polished pieces that aren't just flat shards of pretty. I'm just speculating though. At least if it's embedded in epoxy, you can form the piece more gracefully and not worry about breaking the glass.
thomas rubino wrote:Hi Guys; Cruising the web this morning and came across this(http://www.google.com/patents/US20060194002 ) a patent on sealing / laminating butterfly wings . The "BOSS' has not had a chance to inspect this yet... hoping ... maybe... we will see.
I am doing the same thing as your wife, a found some incredible beautiful dragonfly wings on a cruise from Europe.
I want to seal them with resin, and if I mess them up, I cant go back to search for some more. And may I say, they are blue.
I want to ask you if your wife succeeded with the procedure, and can you help me with THE knowledge of coating them before dipping them into resin?
This means that the color depends on the interface between the air and the scales (or their refrative index).
Embedding the scales in resin means changing the interface to resin - scale, which changes how the light interacts with the scales.
Now you will probably not find any resin with the same refractive index as air (1.0, best resin 1.3), so the only way to preserve the blue color is not to use resin.
I would also suggest to put the wing between two thin glass plates and to seal the edge. You could use a metal band to cover the edges (copper, silver, gold, nickel silver).
The whole structure should be possible within 1 or 2 millimeters, depending on the allowed brittleness and weight.