Friday, 8 March 2013

Tarantula Carving

When I began woodcarving, my daughter, who keeps Tarantulas, asked me if I could do something spiderish. I said I would once I had finished my first Green Man (see an earlier post). So I looked around to see what carvings of Tarantulas there were. I didn't find many.

This one I found on the internet:

 I thought that be fairly easy to do.

But, the I saw this one on a post at a car park:

I liked that, and thought that would be the way to go.

Then, as I was trawling the internet, I came across this picture:

Although it was only pictured from the top, I decided to print it out and trace it on to my bit of old wood. The good thing about this picture is that it has some shadows, which gave me a clue to the shape of the legs.

So I managed to draw an outline and the traced it with carbon paper onto the wood, and then I started to carve:

After a while the spider began to appear:

Then, as I continued, I somehow managed to knock off the two spinnerets (pointy things at the back), which frustrated me. Then a friend told me that the body was a bit long. So I shortened the body and reinstated the spinnerets.

It took a lot more work; carving, sanding, and oiling. But, eventually, this is how it turned out:

Then, as I was trying to get a bit of a shine on it, I dropped it and broke one off the spinnerets of again. That meant time scrabbling around the floor looking for the broken piece. Eventually I found it and glued it back on.

I thought I had better not touch it again, so I wrapped it carefully and sent it to my daughter. But, not before I asked a friend to take some photos of it.

Here are some of them:

It's not perfect, the body isa bit flat. I am, though, very pleased with the finished carving, and so is my daughter, I'm glad to say.

When I was a child I was always terrified of Tarantulas. The main reason for that was that we had a Fyffes Banana warehouse behind our local public swimming baths. There were often rumours that a Tarantula had come over in a box of bananas and escaped into the swimming baths. Those stories terrified us as young kids, especially as we had to go swimming every week with the school. I think that fear has stayed with me since then.

I was reminded of those times when I came across this poem on the internet:

By Richard Edwards

Tarantula, tarantula,
Hidden in your crate,
Can you feel your hunger,
Turning into hate?

Tarantula, tarantula,
Being swung ashore,
What are all those whiskers,
And those fine fangs for? 

Tarantula, tarantula,
Lowered to the quay,
Will you thank the greengrocer,
When he sets you free?

Tarantula, tarantula,
Scuttling out of sight,
Who’s bed will your darkness
Glide beneath tonight?


1 comment:

Niky Sayers said...

Utterly fantastic and the photos are great love the ones in the grass!