Friday, February 24, 2006

Imagery from the past

What project did I try from Annie's book? I tried knitting with wire. Yes, it was slow going and challenging. But what a rewarding process!

Here we go, casting on!

In the middle.

Complete! A beaded wire bracelet.

Blocking this was so much fun! I just squished and pulled and the thing just morphed in my hands. I am easily amused.

Now I finally get to the point of this blog entry title.
Some images are so arresting, that I can't forget them-even after 20 years. I finished the project and it reminded me of something...

Back in the 80's, I went to the Issey Miyake Spectacle: Bodyworks exhibit at SFMOMA and was blown away. Here is the body cuff from the cover of the catalog. It's like a giant bracelet. It is beautiful alone as a sculpture.

It looks great on a human body, too. I would wear it, if someone gave me one. Hint. Hint.

It looks like a giant slinky. Don't you just want to touch it and feel the metal vibrate?

Here is another piece that contrasts the fluidity of the shape with the hardness of the cage-like structure. I had the hubris to hold up my bracelet next to it.

The bamboo vest reminds me of japanese samurai body armor shown at the de Young museum only two years prior to the Bodyworks show. Of course, the exhibition poster was sold out by the time I had saved up enough money for it. If anyone is reading this and has one they want to unload, leave me a comment.

The Details
I used 26 gauge wire from Stats and beads from the Bead Studio. (They, and the Cotton Shop, are all dangerously close to my home-less than a five minute walk.) As others have pointed out, knitting with wire is best done a little bit at a time to avoid developing tendonitis. It took 2 sessions of less than 2 hours each to complete the project. It might go faster next time, but I am trying to relearn how to slow down and enjoy the process.

Ancient History
Unfortunately, I couldn't afford the exhibition catalog at the time. When I finally had a real job, I found the book on Not surprisingly, the book costs more now than new at the exhibit. Surprisingly, the only copy for sale on was physically in Los Angeles, CA. So am I! I contacted the seller and that's how I discovered Dawson's Book Shop and Larchmont Village.

Doesn't the bright yellow laminate IKEA 'lack' side table pop? It normally sits beside a black leather couch. When the in-store 'designer' sold us the couch, she told us how great it would be for a household with kids. We just wipe it down with a damp cloth, rub scratches with black shoe polish and apply creme conditioner every once in a blue moon. She said monthly but a household would have to be more organized than ours to remember to do that.

The Bad Mom part
When Iris saw the completed bracelet, she wanted it. I said it was for me. She asked if we could share it. I said no. She stormed away and slammed her bedroom door.

keywords: wire knitting, art, Issey Miyake, museums, modern motherhood


  1. Excellent job - you make me proud!

    Think of it as encouragement for Iris to learn to knit so she can make her own groovy things...

  2. I did tell her she could have one when she makes her own.


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