• Wire I'm Here

    This is the first time I've written a blog, So here goes and it’s all about my work.

    I use frame knitting to knit the wire because it gives a structure but it is also flexible. This means my work, most of the sea creatures, move in the same way as the real things. I remember displaying an octopus at an exhibition and it's tentacles kept wrapping themselves around the edge of the display frame so every time I wanted to move it I had to unwrap them.

    When I started knitting wire I used old domestic knitting machines as a frame, this worked fine until I started teaching, then I found it hard to cart several machine around so I created my own frames from scrap wood, MDF and nails. This allowed me to create the shapes and the sizes I needed for my pieces, also enabled me to knit the top and bottom at the same time, see image of frame.

    The reason I use recycled wire is because it’s free, I reclaim it all myself, but what annoys me is when authorities say they recycle, what they mean is they have it melted down so using even more energy. I see my self harvesting it from redundant electrical goods, I unwind it from motors, transformer ect.

    The work I create is often things I like eg., sea creatures, birds, bags, headgear and shell forms (helixes). Most of the natural things are created using mathematical formula. The structure is created by using a knitting technique called short row shaping. This technique helps to give volume and shape. I also employ a technique called e-wrapping this helps as the wire has little give and allows for a bit more flexibility.

    Many of the creature are made from both plastic coated and copper wire which can define the top from the underneath. The coated wire is recycled from slot machine or network cable. One of the unique features of the work is the coated wire and the thickness of the copper wire. I believe that no one knit’s the gauges of wire I do. The thicker wire give the piece an even stronger structures.

    The pieces I create vary in sizes, from the smallest about 3cms to the largest 6mtr. Some of the largest piece were exoskeleton creature which include a spider with 3mtr long legs, a crate fly with legs of a similar length and a body 2mtr long with 2mtr wing span. The dragonfly above is made entirely from recycled materials, the wings are made using the acetate wrapping from a transformer.

    The work can take as little as a day to make, for a small simple piece, where as a larger more complicated item can take as long as several weeks or even months. I never do drawings or write down any patterns so every thing is total one off. What I like to do is set myself challenging task which really test my knowledge of knitting wire, then try and knit it in 3d.

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John Binet-Fauvel

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