Spider Silk Tapestry Brings Magic Carpet To Life
Madagascar Tradition Creates One-of-a-Kind Carpet Textile MarvelNo. I'm not spinning a yarn and telling tales.
A spider is, though. Or rather, a million female golden orb [aka Nephila madagascariensis] spiders have, creating a museum carpet artifact that brings back to life "an indigenous tradition on the island of Madagascar."
I learned about this from a 10/29/09 FastCompany.com article titled "Creepy, Crawly, Crafty: A Tapestry Woven by Eight-Legged Artists."
Given how immersed I've been lately with thoughts of creativity, innovation and inspiration [see BRITE 09: Innovating During Downturns & Surviving the Worst, Flooring eNewsletter #1 From Simple Marketing Now and Sources of Flooring Inspiration & Innovation], I was quite taken with the magnificent creativity that this spider-woven tapestry captured.
The richness of the saffron gold color [the reason behind the name 'golden orb'] and intricacy of design truly stop you in your tracks. I found it so beautiful, that I was reminded of how carpets were originally used: as tapestries. According to Wikipedia, the word 'carpet' originally referred to table linens and wall coverings. Not until the 18th century were carpets used on floors. Even then, they were rich in design and color [see Brussels Flower Carpet 2008 for perspective on patterns].
What's amazing from a visual perspective with this spider-created magic carpet is the opulence of the pattern and design, despite the monochromatic palette.
Furthermore, from a scientific perspective, this spider silk seems to be remarkably strong and filled with possibilities. Perhaps someday we'll have spider-silk textiles readily available around us as well as underfoot. Although, to put this magic carpet tapestry into perspective, it took four years and 60+ handlers to extract the spider silk and weave it into the exquisite patterns we see here.
This unique spider-silk textile is on display at the American Museum of Natural History which includes fascinating details of how the tapestry was created....
If there's a chance you're in NYC for the holidays, perhaps you'll visit the display. There's also a special exhibit titled Traveling The Silk Road [which includes a fun interactive website]. If you do go, would you share with us your impressions?
Magic Flying Carpets