KNIGHT

WILLIE

This is Willie Knight and he owns -- along with his lovely wife of half a century, Terry -- the nation's one and only spider web farm.

 

Based in Williamstown, Vermont, the Knights once operated a small scale wood shop at the same location, wherein Willie spent his days filling cabinetry orders never placed.

 

As business was slow, Willie relegated finished items to a large storage closet behind his wood shop.

 

On a day otherwise like those embracing it, Willie and Terry carried a load of finished pieces to this storage space.

 

As the rusty hinges of the door squeaked in morning groans, however, it became clear to both partners this day would be -- after all -- somewhat more unique than they'd thought.

 

The two beheld, on the opposite of the threshold, spiders in multitudes and webs aplenty.

 

Terry, already an avid painter, contemplated harvesting the webs and incorporating them into her art; Willie scoffed.

 

But Willie tells me Terry will usually get her way, and weeks later Willie found himself with a cabinet shop full of spider webs, each individually harvested and pressed to the backs of never-purchased cabinets.

 

Forty years (plus a week or two) later, I stumbled upon the Knight place and bought myself a web. 

 

This is Willie; he paused his lunch to stand for this picture, holding a simple thing gilded in gossamer.

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