Some of you may remember my excitement in February 2012 (more than a year ago), when I stumbled across this bundle of rusted wire fence. It was in a paddock being cleared for development near our house.
Naturally, I pulled the car over and attempted to stuff it into the boot – luckily we have a station-wagon! And, naturally my husband looked at me with that usual look when I arrive home with something we hadn’t discussed. Since then it has been sitting in our garage driving him nuts … and secretly (well it’s no secret now) me too!
I had lots of inspiration for creating something with it, but a lot of trouble deciding what, and how.
I knew I wanted to use the tissue from old dressmaking patterns (was given this idea by something I saw in a shop once)… so started a collection of patterns I saw in opportunity shops:
My challenge with this artwork was how to keep the wire fence straight so I could hang it on the wall, and it wouldn’t scratch and leave rust marks on the wall.
I went to the local hardware store (heavily pregnant on a 35C day – yes, stupid!). All the store assistants were busy, so I sat down on a pile of wood to wait. I was then approached by a really helpful tradie who was loading his car with wood he had purchased, and asked if he could help me. It was such a lovely gesture, as I was about to give up and go home. I tried to explain to him my vision (whilst ignoring his facial expression when I said I was wanting to mount a 2m length of rusty fence wire onto a wall that would be covered in dressmaking patterns!). He was great, and recommended two 1.8m lengths of this wood which I then painted the colour of the wall it was to be mounted on:
As an aside: It so happened this builder giving me advice had some experience in erecting unusual pieces of artwork on to walls. He proceeded to tell me how he was requested to build and mount an enormous cross made from railway sleepers onto a wall. This wasn’t any wall… it was a wall inside a church. This Cross would be sitting above the coffin of Carl Williams during his funeral. Those who are not familiar with Carl Williams he is best described as: a convicted murderer and drug trafficker from the Australian state of Victoria. He was the central figure in the Melbourne gangland killings.
Whilst at the hardware store I also picked up some of these to attach the wire fence on to the lengths of wood…
And some of these to hang the masterpiece on to the wall…
All that was left to do was decide how to use the dressmaking patterns with the wire fence. After a few experiments of different techniques, I decided on weaving folded length of pattern through the wire fence…
I had to do this before fixing the fence to the wood. I wove vertically, and folded the tissue over to the back and fixed it with a household stapler (very technical stuff!). You can see below how the fence sits slightly out from the wall thanks to the two horizontal (top and bottom) pieces of wood it’s attached to.
My husband had his doubts the whole way through this project, he could really understand what I was trying to do. Even when I was weaving the tissue through the fence he still wasn’t sure about how it would look (neither did I!). My attitude with all my upcycling projects is “let’s wait and see what it looks like, and if we don’t like it we don’t need to use it!
We were both very surprised. I don’t think it would suit every house or wall… but it works in this space, in our home.