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Argyll company making jewellery out of… dead midges

The rather unique midge earrings
The rather unique midge earrings

Normally you want to keep midges as far away from your body as much as possible.

But this couple from Argyll has done the impossible by making the wee biting creatures look good.

For Lisa and Ronnie Robinson are using dead midges to create pieces of beautiful jewellery.

From earrings to pendants, rings to cufflinks, their company, The Midge Factory, is now “itching” for success.

Mrs Robinson, a 45-year-old gardener, came up with the idea after deciding to find a use for the dead midges found in her clients’ midge-eating machines.

She said: “We take acrylic resin and carefully place the midges in to it. The resin is coloured, usually amber or amethyst. We pour the resin into moulds, then take it out and sand and varnish it and turn it into jewellery.

“I’m a gardener and some of the people I garden for have these midge catching machines, which produce big bags of midgies. Quite often they would through them away and I thought that was a waste and started making bird food from them.

“I love amber jewellery and started thinking about making jewellery with them. It actually turned out to be quite pretty, although maybe it is an acquired taste.

“I only started making the jewellery a couple of years ago but The Midge Factory has been running since 2011. We created a little midge family, which includes Hamish, the head midgeteer, and his wife Myrtle, and I tell the kids we have a midgenite mine.”

She added: “People love them. We sell a lot coming up to Christmas time for presents to sent abroad, because they are easily packaged. They go to all parts of the world, Australia and New Zealand, just to remind people of home.

“A lot of people buy the jewellery for themselves. We sell a lot of tea towels and things with midge logos on them as gifts, but quite often people like the jewellery for themselves.”

Mr Robinson, 48, said: “People either like it, or they go, ‘Yuck, I can’t possibly put a midge near me’.”

The factory has donors, who sent midges by post from all over Scotland. They are then frozen and labelled so that they can tell customers where the midges come from.

A couple from Argyll are taking the world of fashion by storm by making jewellery – out of dead midgies.

Lisa and Ronnie Robinson are sending the pieces made at The Midge Factory on Seil island near Oban all over the world.

Earrings, pendants, rings and cufflinks are created by setting the midges in resin.

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