Knitted metal sculptures by Tina Frausin, Sweden
During 2011-2012 I have explored knitting with metal wires. The project is a material based study of knitting with metals and an investigation of aesthetic expressions in this technique made in collaboration with Swerea IVF and Smart Textiles, the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås and is supported by the The Swedish Arts Grants Committee. The work aims to find a sustainable and cost-effective method to create free forms and patterns made of knitted metal. Is it actually possible to knit three-dimensional work of art made out of metal? There is still a long way to go before the sculptures emerge by itself from the knitting machines, but I have found a new approach that can develop and work with the rest of my life if I would like to. – My long term goal is to create knitted metal sculptures on a monumental scale.
My sculptures is knitted by on various knitting machines. Smart Textiles in Borås has produced knitted metal for me on their industrial machines. The sculptures are knitted with copper, brass, and stainless steel wire, sometimes an occasional bead, stone or plastic ball crept into the sculptures. I have also explored readymade knitted material often used within the industry. I’ve tried different fillings and support structures, laminated knitted metal between glass and I have combined my knittings with plastic and wool. Some of the sculptures has been produced on a second hand knitting machine in my studio, and sewn together by hand in moments of reflection. To explore sculptures of knitted metal has been a journey through various crafts. Machine knitting is not easy, when I started the project I had barely knitted at all. Neither with the machine or by hand. I had to start out with a course in machine knitting at Hemslöjdens gård Sätergläntan and learn how to knit with yarn before I could start with metal. The project has been a journey from using advanced knitting technique on large industrial machines to sound art and hobby knitting machines, tramp crafts and finding it necessary to freshen up on old skills in welding. I’ve played with both organic, lush shapes and tighter sculptures that reminds of three-dimensional drawings.
When you start with a completely new material the first attempts often become small and ugly. The small and ugly ones is just as important as the more finished works.
The Tube -a knitted sculpture that plays music.
This sculpture plays a random pop song composed from sounds of different knitting machines. Along with sound artist Marcus Olsson, I went to the Textile Museum in Borås and the Swedish School of Textiles in Borås where they recorded the noice from modern large industrial knitting machines and old sock knitting mashines. Marcus has composed the sounds under the rules of how to make a modern pop song. A model of the sculpture complete playing schlager music can be seen at Smart Textiles in Borås.
Link to artist webpage here: www.tarigo.net
All text and images © Tina Frausin