California Dreaming and wall installation

Feb 21 2012

A few weeks ago, a local gallery I work with ( Art 3 in Manchester, NH) enlisted my help for an wall installation.   Once we fiqured out what the clients wanted, I went ahead and knitted this huge copper tapered "donut" that is to be hung on a wall at a rehab facility in Florida.   650 ft of 16g. non-tarnished copper wire went into this donut - a record for me.  Fortunately, the technique I used was pretty easy, but hard to describe - make a long coil, flatten coil, carefully pull coil apart to have individual loops, and then insert one row of loops into another row of loops, and keep going till you have a tube that has a knitted structure.   Now, the poor gallery has to figure out how to hang the darn thing!   I consider it my first "wall installation".   Now, Art 3 wants me to think of new installations we can hang in different offices, rooms and whatever that needs some art on the walls or ceiling.    Given my crazy teaching load and being on the road so much, I'm unable to work in my studio or get any work done in a timely manner, so I find myself doing more artwork that is portable, that I can do anywhere.  Therefore, knitting wire is very portable.

Along the same time, I cancelled a workshop to be a TA ( teacher assistant) to Andrienne Sloane, a fiber artist who can knit fantastic things in thin wire, using just a simple crotchet hook.    Workshop was called "knitting on the rocks" so here are some rocks that I knitted a "skin" around it.  The bead was my first attempt, the rock in upper right hand side is knitted with a crotchet hook.  Rock in middle is 3 colors, using the Viking knit method ( which I am a Queen of Viking Knit).   The two knitted strips, one with small knitting needles, and other, with a crotchet hook, shows just how much I have improved.   I always hated knitting with a crotchet hook, for it gave me a messy look with wire, and knitting wire on knitting needles is very different than knitting with stretchly yarn.   I can knit yarn well, but wire has no give, so it can be messy to knit with knitting needles.  However, I can see I'm much better now.  Still not my favorite way of knitting.  Give me a Viking Knit or Woven Chain method, and I'm happy as a clam.   I did finish my wool sweater right after New Year's, after spending 2 years knitting it.  Warm and comfy.   At one point, Andrienne asked me what am I TA'ing for her?   I said, "Busman's Holiday" .  I just can't stay away.  It's good for me to see how another teacher approaches knitting wire and I can always use more tips in knitting neatly.  I am obsessed with a neat, clean knit, rather than something that looks like a tangle of wire, which too often, I see that.


Last year, I had a student from California in my Beads to Jewelry class at Snow Farm.  She said she wished I could come out to California to teach.  I told her to find me a place to teach, pay my airfare and lodgings, and I'll be happy to come out.  Well, she came through, and I'm gotta teach at Graceful Customs Lampwork Glass & Jewelry Studio in Gilroy, California this summer.   First time I get to teach outside of New England, and I'm excited!    Of course, I love garlic, and Gilroy is the Garlic Capital of the US.   Should be fun.   Onward to the next adventure - let's hope I find new venues to teach and spread my tips and tricks for working with metal. 

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