Gilding a ...Wasp? Answered
I have a vision for a project but am unsure what would be the best means of achieving it.
When I was a kid, I had a bug collection. My grandfather found a perfectly preserved wasp in his garage and saved it for me in a plastic syrup bottle lid. Over the decades all my other insect specimens crumbled (I was a kid, so I just had them loose in a school box without proper mounts) but this wasp is STILL intact and perfect inside the syrup cap more than 20 years later!
My grandfather was very special to me, and I was toying with the idea of somehow metal plating this wasp to turn it into a pendant. I have no experience with metal working and don't own the stuff to do it, but i'm open to purchasing materials if my goal even seems realistic. It is a fragile exoskeleton, which probably limits what I can do in terms of casting I have wondered about brush coating it with fiberglass resin (to strengthen it) and then painting it with gold leaf, but many of the faux gold leaf paints out there are pretty crappy looking.
Fearing I might just end up destroying the wasp, I've also thought maybe I should just get a Ryker mount and hang him with the rest of my legit insect collection, though it is not posed properly and is likely waaaaaay too old to be re-relaxed for posing.
If any experienced jewelry makers, gold leaders, or entomologists have thoughts on how to successfully gild this wasp (or why not to), I welcome your ideas! Thanks in advance.