Unconsidered Trifles

  Each of these painstakingly woven little vessels, are from the ongoing series Unconsidered Trifles. This series in short explores the combination of an ancient technique (nalebinding) with post consumer materials discarded lifetimes apart.

Unconsidered Trifles Artist Statement

A broken bottle, eroding from a muddy shoreline and a bundle of wire tossed in a dumpster are certainly unconsidered trifles to most in our modern world. However upon closer inspection one can see there is potential underneath the muddy or plastic exterior. 

The process for this series begins in the tidal inlets of South Carolina, with the surface collection of materials. The bottlenecks, strewn along the banks have been subjected to the ebb and flow of over one hundred years of tides. The great variety in bottle and neck design coupled, with the lack of uniformity in the work of a human hand tell a remarkable story. Tooling marks, air bubbles, pontils, and uneven walls are all wonderful things not seen in modern equivalents. The bottlenecks are then cleaned and their sharp edges smoothed down to prepare for unification with the wire. 

Out of the inlets and in to town I seek modern “trash”, looking through dumpsters, wire is never hard to come by. Though copper has a slight intrinsic value, the process of separating it from its plastic is seemingly too large a task to be economically viable. To prepare the wire for use I must remove it from its bundle, separate the individual strands, straiten and cut them free of their plastic sheathing, finally exposing a crisp copper wire. The acts of gathering and processing materials is an integral part of my working method. 

The materials are then united using an ancient (6500 BCE) weaving technique known as Nalebinding (aka knotless netting). A process that involves passing the entire length of a material (in this case copper wire) through itself in order to form links. By nature it is a slow and tedious process requiring both patience and concentration for a proper execution.  Allowing the contours of the broken edges to determine the form, each piece is painstakingly woven into a free standing vessel.

 As humans we have always tended to collect, use and discard, the only things that change are the materials being disposed of and the volume of disposal. It gives me great satisfaction in knowing that I have taken these post consumer materials and transformed them anew. Through this series I am able to unite, completely different objects, discarded lifetimes apart, highlighting the usefulness and beauty the unconsidered may yet hold. 

© Kara Artman 

Kara Artman  ©2010-2021