Sunday, 31 October 2010

blanka sperkova

Blanka Sperkova is a jewellery designer who is probably best known for her organic wire sculptures.

She has perfected her unique way of working, a form of finger knitting inspired by traditional wire and lace making techniques from her Slovakian homeland.

Whilst neither a fashion designer nor a machine knitter, I came across Sperkova's sculptures in my search for three dimensional knits, and was fascinated by the degree of freedom of manipulation her chosen media allows. I am still uncertain in which direction my work is or interiors? It is helpful to see this designers work and contemplate this.

She creates internal forms, experimenting with lighting and film to animate the sculptures, so that the shadows cast become more expressive than the original object.

"My objects take shape from within themselves; they anticipate themselves. There is matter, then form. Or there is form, then matter."
The use of light and shadow fits well with the latter two pieces of work shown on my first blog. I have used laser cut coloured acetate to form a pattern, but it only really works when it is backlit, then a whole new dimension is added.

Sperkova's designs led me to look further into knitting with wire, and specifically machine knitting with wire. I consulted 'Textile Techniques in Metal' by Arline Fisch.

It would appear that the biggest problem when knitting wire on a knitting machine is tension control. It is also advisable to cast on in yarn to begin with, then knit 1 row with yarn & metal together, before dropping the yarn and knitting solely with wire.

Materials that knit well are: fine silver wire, fine brass wire and copper insulation & electrical wire.
Tubular knitting with a knitting dolly or sock machine also appears to be a successful pursuit.

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