Butterflies can sometimes be found sipping moisture from puddles or wet soil after a rain. The process, seen here in the image above, is known as “puddling.” Except this image is not a real-life butterfly, nor are the puddles made from real water. The scene has been sculpted entirely from wood by Japanese artist Toru Fukuda.
The 27-year old Fukuda, who was born and raised in Hokkaido, has been creating wood sculptures since he was in high school. At an early age he was drawn to a technique called wood inlay, a process that involves cutting a shaped void into a piece of wood and then filling that void with other pieces of wood. This, for example, is how he achieves the stunningly realistic shapes and colors of the wings of the Neope niphonica, a butterfly found in East Asia. Put differently, no artificial paints of any kind were used. Instead, Fukuda combined a variety of woods including teak, ebony and mulberry.
The glimmering puddles are also made from wood. They were carved out from the base and then polished until they shined – literally. You can see more of Fukuda’s astonishing work on his website, or keep up with him on Twitter.