I love to make nature prints. I'd never thought of using a real spider web to make a print until I found a book in the library by Laura Donnelly Bethmann. She gives great instructions, and I'm hoping to try it when I get back to Montana - spider web central.
To do this project, you need:
- A friend;
- Two sheets of stiff cardboard, larger than the spider web you will be printing;
- Two strong pieces of paper you can attach to the back of the cardboard as handles;
- a roll of strong tape;
- Two sheets of soft white printing paper, the same size as your boards;
- A handful of large binder clips;
- A measuring tape to measure the web;
- Can of black, oil-based spray paint;
- A spray can of fixative.
Remove spider from web. Bethmann says the spider will make another web within the hour - so no worries. Measure the spider web and cut the two sheets of board and printing paper to exceed the dimensions of the web. Create a handle for the back of each board by cutting two strips of paper, each approximately 8 inches long. Attach the handles to the back of the cardboard, in the middle, with strong tape. Secure the paper to the right side of each board with the clips or tape.
This is the part where it helps to have a friend.Take your boards and spray paint outside to your web. Bring a piece of paper or fabric if you need to protect your house or lawn furniture from the paint. Spray both sides of the web lightly with the paint. Slip your hands through the handles, and quickly bring one board to the web so that it comes evenly in contact with the paper. Holding it steady, bring the second board up against the other side of the web until the two boards meet.
Have your friend hold the boards together while you slip your hands out of the holders. Press or rub the outsides of the boards to transfer the image onto the paper and let the prints dry. Spray the dried image with fixative.