Spider Silk Production

Spider silk is a fascinating material with a complex production process. In the Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus), 6 glands in the spider’s abdomen secrete proteins that combine to form the silk (color illustration). The proteins are pushed out of the spider’s body as a solution, through the spinnerets, highly complex structures of many microscopic spigots, each producing one filament (black and white illustration). This makes the silk a resistant material and allows the combination of the filaments in different ways, to produce different kinds of silk.

Media: b&w illustration – black and white carbon dust, carbon pencils, colored pencils, gouache and india ink on vellum; color illustration – acrylic on paper