British artist Ann Carrington was welding in her studio a couple of years ago when she noticed, over a two-day period, a spider steadily weaving its web nearby. It was, she says, “a thing of beauty and a privilege to watch.”

She did a bit of research and learned, among other things, that spiders’ silk is five times stronger than a steel wire of similar diameter. “If human sized, a spiderweb would be tough enough to snag a jumbo jet!” she marvels. She began imagining a spiderweb made from steel, snagging perhaps not jumbo jets but supersize bugs and neighboring spiders! Eventually she put the piece she was working on aside and started making a web instead.

She has by now produced more dazzling webs than a cluster of spiders—and they can be huge, measuring five feet or more across. Hers are made primarily of a welded-steel base onto which she’s woven additional webs fashioned from old necklaces, beads, and bracelets; she attaches handmade or found brass bugs from old ashtrays, trinket dishes, ornaments, butterfly brooches, and vintage necklaces. She thinks of the bugs and insects she attaches as lucky charms or amulets. The beads on the webs are suggestive of dew.

Though her body of work is vast and varied and wonderful, she keeps returning to her favorite motif. The effect of all the brass and found objects and painstaking work is, in the end, quite delicate, even transcendent, just like that first inspiring gossamer web.

“I find beauty in mundane objects that other people might pass by,” Carrington says. “There is magic all around. You just have to stop and pay attention.”

See more of her work at and visit her on Instagram @anncarringtonart.


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Enchanted Living Magazine is a quarterly print magazine that celebrates all things enchanted.