Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Filigree vessel

Two posts in one day! But now I've got my work in progress photographed, I was just bursting to show you what I've been up to this month. The problem of working on larger creative projects is that they take so long and don't look very exciting photographically speaking till near the end.

I've been playing with modular freeform crochet, building sections of crocheted loops into a 3D form. The original intention was to use white to focus solely on the form structure as I went, but for a lover of colour, I'm really liking the subtlety the white is giving me - especially with a light source behind creating all those interesting shadows.

Now the form is complete, the intention was to start incorporating wire and beads, weaving through the structure in an organic way, crossing and twisting over each other using different colours and thicknesses of metal wire and threading beads as I went. But now I like the simplicity of the white, would a riot of new colours and surface materials kill its delicacy? As it is, the form is not quite sturdy enough to sit on its own and maintain its pod-like shape and the wire's main purpose - other than being decorative:) - was to strengthen the form unobtrusively, so to speak.

I had considered using starch but it can leave a residue. Although the yarn used isn't all that special at this stage, it could be a feature I may not want to lose on another vessel. So, I think a series of small test samples are going to be needed exploring all these possibilities before I decide on a final course of action.

But it's all very exciting!! If I used starch, would that give a good ground to paint on? If I crocheted with wire instead, how would that look? Strength would no longer be an issue but what about the tactile element? Would there be enough fibre content to keep me happy? How could I incorporate more? I think I may have a series of vessels before I'm finished:))

I'll keep you posted!


  1. I love this piece. It just goes to show how versatile some of these textile craft skills really can be when used by someone who is willing to look outside the box. I am excited to see more and just wonder where it will take you. Beautifully photographed by the way.

  2. OH my gosh - I wanted to comment earlier but I was at work - where I can look at blogs but not comment (like being able to smell chocolate but not EAT it! lol). Anyway - even though I KNEW that, I still was so excited I tried to comment and consquently crashed my computed, got locked out and had to explain why I was on a "forbidden" site when I shouldn't a oughta (I was on lunch, dang it!).


    This piece is so, so, soooooooo beautiful. And I love your new blog look and header. And I love this piece.

    Gorgeous. Makes my heart sigh.

  3. Beautiful form and photos. As for stiffening I sometime use milk. It dries without any residue, smells pleasantly like yoghurt for a bit but then nothing. Or there are some fabric stiffeners that work and you can dilute them. This way there is no change to the surface of your fibre. Thanks for visiting me.

  4. Hi Elaine :-)

    I just love this project since I first saw it on flickr! I was thinking of doing three-dimensional crochet objects many times, but your idea, to use simple circles, is outstanding! I'm very interested in hearing to which conclusion you've come at last, concerning the starching. Last winter, I had to wash many, many, many crocheted snowflakes, because they had become dirty over the years. Before that, I had crocheted each year some flakes and starched them either with sugar or a fabric stiffener. But this time, I decided to use a white glue water mixture, because I never wanted to go to the process of starching so many snowflakes at a time again. It took me several weeks but now, I hope, they will stay starched forever. When they will turn yellow one day, I will (spray?) paint them. I can understand, when you find this method very cruel, but it came into my mind, when I read your post. :-)

    Have a great day!

  5. This is definitely a piece of art. Silly me, forgot to hit your follow button before-meant to...all signed up now!

  6. Thank you all for the lovely comments:) still haven't starched it - going to try on a tester first to see if I like the results before committing myself! will let you know how it turns out....

  7. This is really beautiful! Looks like it takes a lot of patience. Really nice!

  8. Wow! I've had this idea for years to create something large that looks like some plankton that remind me of mongolian hats/cook pots, and at first was going to do clay... but now I knit... at first I thought felted, but now think lace somehow stiffened. LOVE the milk idea!

  9. Do you still check this? I would love to know how this was made. Is it just tatted rings sewn together? What kind of tatting?


Hello and thanks for stopping by. Do stay a while and visit. Please do leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you and be inspired by all your blogs out there too:-) elaine xx


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