The Insect Shoppe is owned and operated by Michelle Johnston. She received her BFA in Photography from The School of Visual Arts in NYC where her work primarily focused on landscape and documentary. During this time she also began working in an entomology department where she learned to pin and preserve museum quality specimen. Upon learning this craft she quickly began to dream up her own worlds combining her love of the nature and attention to detail in earth conscious one of a kind pieces of art.

With 10 years of insect handling experience and 6 years of teaching pinning, her work focuses on preservation with respect.  Each insect is delicately steamed or soaked to allow for pliable movements only within the insects natural ability, presenting the insects in their most natural form, free of harsh chemicals.

Works are available for home decor, weddings, and special occasions. Loose specimen for photo and film shoots, editorial, fine art, installation and more. Repairs, appraisals, restoration, and commissions all welcome. Skeleton articulation. Private and group pinning classes.

After 12 years of growth on the east coast Michelle recently moved her business back to her roots in Metro Detroit, Michigan. To inquire on commissions ,wholesale, installation, pinning apprenticeship, hosting classes and more email:

Photography by Jen Chanyi