Friday, October 24, 2008

The Evolution of Fusing Copper in Glass, Staci Style

Because I love to knit as much as anything, I guess it was natural that I would end up knitting with copper wire and fusing that in glass.  I actually took a "Knitting with Wire" class a few years ago, so the knitting with wire idea wasn't something I just came up with out of the blue.  Here are my first experiments:

The piece on the left is a knitted swatch.  It's about 2.5"x4" and has white glass for the bottom layer.   The one on the right is a crocheted "granny square" and is all clear glass.  I discovered right away that using an opaque glass for the bottom layer really makes the wire show when  compared to using all clear glass.   

Here is a pendant that I made with a little swatch of knitting inside:

I love it!  I thought that the little knitted swatch bendant was great for knitters, but I decided that a crocheted flower would have wider appeal, so here are some examples of that:

I'm hoping to sell some of these on my etsy "store" when I get it up and running.

Around the time of this experimenting (early spring of 2007, I guess) I heard about a juried art show in Edmonds that would take submissions only from mothers called "Art of our Mothers".  It would take place around Mother's Day.  I decided that a fused class piece with different samples of knitting and crocheting would be the perfect thing to submit.  So I made up a bunch of copper wire swatches....

...and I fused them with different colors of glass as backgrounds.  I was partially inspired by the quilts made by women in my ancestry.  As I was working I was also feeling very grateful to my mom and paternal grandma for teaching my how to knit and crochet and wondering what they would think of me knitting and crocheting with copper wire!  I named the piece "Legacy".  Here is a picture of it: 

This piece is about 17" wide by 15" long.  A ton of trial and error went into making it, believe me!  I have rejects of several of the components hanging out in the garden.  I still haven't found a satisfactory way to hang it without having the method of hanging show.  It's not like a painting where the picture wire is hidden on the back.  I think I'll just have to get over worrying about that.
I owe a ton of thanks to my dad who helped me in the "eleventh hour" when my kiln went wacko and I still had pieces to fuse for this piece and the submission deadline was looming.  I was/am soooo lucky that: #1 - my dad is an electronics whiz, and #2 - we were able to find a replacement solenoid at the local Radio Shack.  This piece did hang in that 2007 Art of our Mothers show, and in the Arts of Kenmore show this summer.
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