In Canberra last week we visited the Nishi NewActon apartment complex and surrounding precinct. My husband and I own an investment real estate and financing business and frequently check out new and innovative living options for both ourselves and our clients to invest in. This is one of them. I’ll write more about this amazing place later.
The picture here is the front cover of the promotional brochure for Nishi and I was immediately struck by the building sketch and how it relates to my current netting and grid structures. Over several days I mulled over how to create a woven net / mesh based around this visual.
I set myself some guidelines:
- Having just completed a very reduced colour palette piece for my stitched net I chose a riot of colour this time.
- To fit with the sustainability, recycling and reusing theme of Nishi I used old translucent beads from something I took apart some time ago and bits of organza from my scrap bag of leftovers.
- I wanted a rigid structure to match the solidity of the building so chose wire as my warp (sorry, not recycled).
I made 50 organza beads. I wrapped strips around a skewer and blasted them with the heat gun until I achieved the shrunken, hardened, crusty bead look. They were then laid out in a rough weft grid formation and the beads were inserted. The yellow and brown glass beads are laid in a diagonal, top left to bottom right, with one larger yellow one towards the top right as a feature. The clear beads, being attached to the warp, are representing light filtering through the apartments, a huge feature of the building which has been architecturally designed to maximise the effects of natural daylight, thereby reducing electrical usage.
I warped up the frame with 22 gauge colour coated copper wire. This flew about everywhere and each pair were clamped when not in use. One end had to remain unattached from the frame to allow twisting around the weft as I wove.
The wire warp was twisted in pairs to hold the weft in place and I made the distances between rows uneven to keep the effect of the original Nishi sketch which is somewhat loose in its interpretation of the building.
Once finished, the hemp cord ends were woven in and I twisted the wire ends into loose random coils.
Yes, they’re not quite working for me.
The above two pictures show the grid from the other side with the sun fully shining on it. The translucent beads are plastic which doesn’t reflect the light as much as glass but I have to be conscious of weight in my work as these items will be posted to the UK for marking and we have certain restrictions in place.