Old and New Materials

The modern day wonder of silk and the ancient art of samurai sword making are closely related. These creations started out with single uses. The samurai sword was used in battle, and silk was used to create clothing. In current times, the making of a samurai sword is both symbolic and sacred; while they are no longer used in battle, they are still considered beautiful and technologically advanced. Silk now has a variety of uses, including the creation of flexible electronics, gears that work in water, and bolts.

Above: A biodegradable circuit that contains silk. http://www.arizona.edu/features/electronics-dissolve-body

Another similarity between the two is that they are both surrounded by misconceptions. Silk is thought of as a rich fabric to create beautiful ties and luxury garments, while in reality, it can form tiny needles, vein grafts, and medicine in the form of a credit card. These two objects also share a close connection in regards to creation. It takes days to perfect a samurai sword, just like it takes time to produce a needle made of silk. The physical and chemical reactions used to create these products are time consuming, but worth the effort seeing as they create phenomenal results.

Below: An example of a samurai sword. http://ancientlampphoto.blogspot.com/2013/08/ancient-japanese-samurai-swords.html


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