Spider silk is a fascinating phenomenon. Wispy and intricately beautiful in web form, it is, in fact, formidably strong.
Ounce for ounce, spider silk has five times the tensile strength of steel, which has led many a scientist to study it, experiment with it, and attempt to replicate it in the laboratory. The potential uses for a substance of such featherweight strength – think parachutes, surgical sutures, body armor – are numerous and lucrative enough to have attracted the attention of innovators, both military and civilian.
For me, however, spider silk strikes a more romantic chord. Its combination of delicacy, strength and diaphanous beauty has inspired a number of my jewelry designs. Our Holda and Ceres bracelets capture the fineness and iridescence of spider silk, but their cuff size conveys power and presence. The subtle geometric detailing of our Medeina and Ostara headbands similarly reflect the sturdy intricacies of the mighty web, feminine but substantial by design.
That we don’t have to choose between beauty and strength is one of many lessons we can learn from spiders and their silken webs.