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Japanese Spider Web Art Project

Transfer the elegant silk design of a spider web to paper in this easy Japanese art project

One of Japanese art's basic appeals is that objects from nature are collected and the designs are incorporated into fabrics and onto paper with inks. You can create this spider web reproduction that is elegant enough to be enjoyed by adults and fun enough for children to help make.

You will need the following supplies:

-Two pieces of sturdy cardboard
-Enough small scrap wood pieces to attach in an "X" shape on the back of the cardboard
-Masking tape
-Two pieces of art paper (watercolor paper or a fun handmade paper)
-Oil-based spray paint (you can use black or any dark color)

The size of the cardboard and art paper will be determined by the size of the web you find. Look for your web in the early morning while it will still be easy to see (it will probably have dew on it and the spider will already be gone). The web will have to be accessible from both sides. Wait for it to dry.

On the back side of each cardboard piece attach your wood "handles." They should be long enough to hold the cardboard steady with one hand.

Tape the art paper to the front of each cardboard piece.

Capturing the web between the two pieces of cardboard will be easier with one person on each side, holding each sheet firmly.

Shake up the paint according to the manufacturer's instructions. Spray the web in light strokes. Spider webs are very strong, so do not worry about damaging the silk. Give the web several quick swipes, but do not overspray or droplets will begin to form.

You will now press the web from both sides with the cardboard. Bring the two sheets together firmly; be careful not to lift or twist the sheets once the web is sandwiched in between.

Let rest on a flat surface for a few minutes until the spray has dried. Remove the cardboard, detach the art paper and you have two instant art pieces that are ready to mount and hang.

No Japanese-style painting is finished until a personal seal has been applied. It does not have to be your initials, but it should reflect your personality and love of nature. You can find your personal seal at specialty stamp shops or hobby stores. Ink it and lightly press it on the paper to create your own delicate signature.

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