Metal as a material for textiles
Designer Tine De Ruysser beautifully combines hard and soft mediums, crafting them into unique new wearable materials. The designer takes inspiration from Japanese origami and applies it to fabric. She has figured out an innovative way for textiles to hold the crisp shapes normally found in the paper craft, by adding metal.
The textiles are able to create a “folding” effect that can bend into various three-dimensional shapes. Her collection of metallic textiles includes a shoulder cape made up of three-dimensional cubes and the effect has also been incorporated into a skirt in which the length can be changed depending on the way in which the fabric is folded.
The final outcome of the pieces appears stiff and solid but the pliability of the fabric hinges allows for a practical range of movement.
Larry Dells is an Artist that combines materials to create amazing sculptures. Some of his most relevant pieces of work combine metal with other materials. His constructions utilise glass, metal mesh and screen fabric as primary materials, using their different values like elements of a drawing.
Artist Michelle McKinney creates ethereal nature-inspired art pieces using industrial metals. McKinney hand cuts ultra-fine woven metal into large-scale artworks that recreate forms and symbols found in nature. From butterfly wings to autumn leaves, each delicate piece is crafted with such finesse that it’s nearly impossible to detect the provenance of her industrial materials.
She started her career in jewellery design, but soon after began making larger-scale contemporary artwork and sculptures after she discovered ultra-fine woven metal. These extremely malleable metals have a translucent quality and can be easily bent by hand and cut with scissors. Inspired by the ephemerality of nature, McKinney captures and contrasts that fragility with the strength and durability of the woven metals.
She crafts, colours, and shapes each individual component of her art pieces by hand before she puts them together to form a larger shape inspired by movement. The simplicity of her artwork belies the complexity and effort of capturing the feeling of fleeting nature with lifelike metal parts. The shapes are cut from copper, brass, or steel mesh and then pinned into a dynamic shape on a white background.
As other artists use pencil, Celia Smith uses metal wire as a drawing material. She picks up a rusty piece of metal on a farm track, or a squashed electrical cable in a road and transforms them into art. Scrap yards are her favourite places, the textures and piles of wire are very inspiring. She intentionally seeks out old and interesting wires.
By collecting wires she creates her lines with which to make drawings – some are bold and thick like a marker pen, others are thin like the faintest of pencil lines.
Celia Smith’s work focuses on birds and she regularly goes out on drawing trips to natural reserves and islands. She also sometimes incorporates bits of wood and metal scraps that she finds in the places where she is drawing.