Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Flowers, berries and black iron

I like using blackened annealed iron wire fot its variegated, matte colour. Probably inspired by the fact that it is also a type of wire traditionally used in luffarslöjd/trådtjack, wirework made by bums in the early 20th century (they picked up surplus wire to work with, thus avoiding be arrested for vagrancy).

Above is an exemple of a creation I made after being given a bead challenge to make a picture frame. For it I used 0,7 mm iron wire and West-african flower beads made from recycled glass. The beads are very uneven, but very pretty. I had never done a frame using wire before so there are many things that could be done in a different way, but I still like it.

In the same challenge I also got to make a pen holder. Using the same 0,7 mm wire, I made this twined basket that remind me a bit of the baskets we used to pick potatoes in as kids working at our grandparents' farm. Not that it was decorated with flowers and leaves, but the sparse twisted wire is more or less the same. To make a dense bottom, stopping the pens and pencils from going through it, I used vaxed linen cord.

Then, in a word challenge, I got the word gooseberries. As soon as I got it I thought of my strangely coloured cat's eye beads -- and barbed wire. As gooseberry bushes only mean one thing to me: thorns!

Growing up in the countryside on a small farm, we still used the old-fashioned ways sometimes. This included using barbed wire instead of electric fences every summer when a couple of grandpa's heifers were grazing on our lands. We now have tonnes of that springy, errant wire in storage. It is difficult to work with, especially seeing I couldn't anneal it, but having held and pulled barbed wire since I was a toddler I was experienced enough to wrap it without being scratched more than once.

I only had a few cat's eye beads so I decided to make it autumnal, the last gooseberries for the season left on a near defoliated bush. I attached the berries and leaves using handmade iron wire headpins, stringed onto more wire, which I twisted together making a short vine. As you can see, the vine is separate from the thorny barbed-wire wreath.

Of cause I also make jewellery using this wire. More about that some other time.

1 comment:

  1. Love them all! Those sweet little flowers and the barbed wire remind me of wonderful days spent in the countryside on my Grandparents' farm. It is long ago but the memories will live forever.


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