Amateur Sericulture
May 14, 2012 8:21 AM   Subscribe

What is the most efficient way to harvest spider webs for an art project?

I'm going to preface this question by saying that, while I'm not a huge arachnophobe, I'd prefer not to touch or capture or interact too closely with any spiders themselves. But if it comes to that, well, I'll do what I gotta.

So, I'm working on a couple of heavily textured paintings. Part of the process in these paintings is that between coats I store them in a dusty corner that has a little bit of spider traffic. After being stored for a while I hit the painting with a few coats of clear spray gloss which turns the invisible web lines into thick threads that become part of the painting's texture. I know, right?

This process is working, but so far the accumulation has been slow and I need to have these paintings ready for a show in August. Do any of you have any ideas of how to speed up the process? So far all I've tried is a bit of experimenting with the spot I store the paintings, if I see a newly cobwebby corner I'll hang the painting up in that corner.

If it matters my house mostly has little fast skittering hunting spiders on the floor (I assume these guys don't do much webbing), and the big spindly legged web living guys that some people call daddy long legs (I say some people because that's what I call harvestmen).
posted by cirrostratus to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Apparently my house has a lot of bugs in it, how to get rid of them once I'm done using their silks will probably be a future AskMe post.
posted by cirrostratus at 8:23 AM on May 14, 2012

If you lived closer, you could put them in my garage. It's old, dusty and generally full of cobweb spiders but they don't seem to get really active until the summer is partway through. Perhaps it's already warmer where you are. Maybe you have a lockable shed or you could build some kind of draughty (yet secure) outdoor box?
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:18 AM on May 14, 2012

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