Following my wasp carving I decided to continue the theme of insects, or in this case an arachnid.

As before, the legs would be the main problem but I was fortunate to have access to some yew trees and was able to cut some suitably shaped twigs. Fixing them to the body proved difficult and in the end I decided to make the “undercarriage” separately by fixing the finished legs into a small section of yew with epoxy and steel pegs. Again this proved remarkably strong and, at least, all eight feet touched the ground.

The undercarriage of the spider

Carving the body from a piece of lime was relatively straightforward until it came to the mouthparts. Spiders have a pair of pedipalps with which to feel their prey. These tiny appendages required something like a shortened matchstick with a right angled bend in it, so it was back into the garden with a pair of secateurs. This is probably the first time cotoneaster wood has been used in a carving.

Carving eyes is always difficult so the prospect of carving six was daunting so I was relieved when I was able to source a selection of small glass eyes of varying sizes.

The surface finish was done with a pyrography pen and having the body and legs separate had the advantage of giving me access to all areas. The legs were attached and the completed piece finished with Danish oil.

How do you display a spider? I contemplated making a web but settled for hanging it on a wall high up in the corner of our living room. Very effective but rather disconcerting to our more nervous visitors!!


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