The Experi (MENTAL!) or

Some weeks back a company named WireKnitZ® put out a call for artists interested in experimenting with their product. They make copper wire, tubular knit for artisans and crafters. It can be stretched, stitched, rolled, beaded, braided, woven, layered, shaped and even reshaped, giving designs structural integrity while remaining supple, flexible, and lightweight. It is available in three knit styles, two widths, two wire gauges, and is polyurethane enamel-finished in a kaleidoscope of colors. Nice colors, too! Here is their URL if you want to see more: http://wireknitz.com/ (BTW- I am in no way associated with the company!)

They were requesting artists and crafters to send them visual samples of art works, jewelry, etc. for them to look at, which I did. I sent numerous images that showed the wide range of techniques and materials I work with. I got an excited response right away from the president, who had taken the time to look through my website. We spoke by phone and within a week I got a large box of the most fantastic array of wire knit, in yummy colors, ripe for the playing! 

You'll know I am completely nuts when I tell you that there is no compensation for doing this other than $25 for extra incidentals, and that I have spent dozens and dozens of hours during the last couple of weeks on art works and experiments for them to OWN for use at promotional events such as quilt shows, trade shows, etc. That's why I titled this blog post The ExperiMENTALor... I'm definitely crazy when it comes to trying new things...no holds barred! 

Here are some of the first experimentations I did. I hope you'll enjoy seeing where I have gone with this material, and try some of your own explorations! 

 

Woven ribbons of wire knit stapled together with colored staples, trimmed in wire knit, on a wire knit cage with faux fur inside

Woven ribbons of wire knit stapled together with colored staples, trimmed in wire knit, on a wire knit cage with faux fur inside

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Free Motion stitched using elastic thread in the bobbin

Free Motion stitched using elastic thread in the bobbin

Sliced wire knit, stitched and reassembled, stretched and reshaped

Sliced wire knit, stitched and reassembled, stretched and reshaped

More manipulations

More manipulations

Detail

Detail

L-R, T-B: Micro beading on vinyl with wire knit; Dyed industrial felt with wire knit; dyed paper with free motion stitching and wire knit; free motion stitching on painted vinyl with wire knit; artist’s screen print on fabric, quilted, in wire knit cage

L-R, T-B: Micro beading on vinyl with wire knit; Dyed industrial felt with wire knit; dyed paper with free motion stitching and wire knit; free motion stitching on painted vinyl with wire knit; artist’s screen print on fabric, quilted, in wire knit cage

Side view

Side view

Stretched and woven wire knit

Stretched and woven wire knit

I then started working on larger pieces. 

Compilation on fabric with vinyl

Compilation on fabric with vinyl

Taking the parts of the experiments and putting them together. This piece will be stretched so will have no puckers. 

Taking the parts of the experiments and putting them together. This piece will be stretched so will have no puckers. 

Free Motion stitched wire knit sculpture using elastic in the bobbin, silicone injected wire knit ribbon

Free Motion stitched wire knit sculpture using elastic in the bobbin, silicone injected wire knit ribbon

Detail

Detail

Dyed, melted Fosshape with manipulated wire knit

Dyed, melted Fosshape with manipulated wire knit

Detail

Detail

Free Motion stitched wire knit using elastic in the bobbin; hand beading; silicone injection

Free Motion stitched wire knit using elastic in the bobbin; hand beading; silicone injection

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Constructed wire knit and silicone injected wire knit ribbon

Constructed wire knit and silicone injected wire knit ribbon