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Glo

Visual Arts: Captured Spider Webs

As a writer, I see a lot to learn from spiders and their webs. The spider has tenacity. Some webs automatically self-destructive and have to be rebuilt. Others are destroyed by weather, other creatures, and by humans. (I hasten to say that I wouldn't have captured any webs if I'd thought the spider couldn't replace them.) Writers, too, must have the tenacity to re-do. to re-write, to start over completely. 

The webs themselves show us that something beautiful can take many forms - be almost the same and yet be different. One form doesn't have to be "best." So, too, the many forms of writing, with many sub-genres - from nonfiction, to fiction, to poetry - all have their place. Any can be beautiful.

Capturing spider webs is an art more of dexterity than of execution. After all, the spider created the web. I once knew a writer/arachnid specialist  who taught me the art of capturing these elusive creations. 

The technique is delicate and fraught with difficulties. After gently blowing the spider out of the web, the web is sprayed with paint. Next a fixative is sprayed on paper and the paper is brought up behind the web in order to capture it. A careful approach must be manuevered. Spider webs have a certain elasticity to them, so if you don't handle it deftly, or don't angle the paper just right,  the silk strands simply disintegrate into a glob in the middle of the paper.

I learned that there are a number of different kinds of webs. The geometric-orb is what most people think of when one says "spider web."  However, the tangled-web,  sheet-web, and the funnel-web are also capturable.  There are several other types, but these are the most prevalent and the most subject to capture. Even within each type of web, the individual webs have infinite variety. I think they're beautiful, written in spider silk 
 

graphic two spider webs
These are real spider webs, captured onto paper.  The fragile one at the left, on green paper, is a Geometric-Orb. The one at the right, on yellow paper, is a Sheet-Web
il: tangled web

Tangled-Web

 

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