Moebius Strip Series
In 2011 I became interested in the topological form of the Moebius strip and the sculptural possibilities offered by compositions involving this shape.
A Moebius strip is a mathematical object with one endless, continuous surface, and one edge. It is made by taking a strip of anything, giving one end a half twist, and joining the ends.
I have explored the sculptural possibilities of this form in one-of-a-kind bronze sculptures made by the lost wax process. For me, the self-imposed constraint of using only Moebius strips gives me the freedom to create an endless variety of compositions. The freedom within the constraint is like that of poetic forms such as the sonnet and the haiku: within the constraint, the possibilities for variation are without limit.
In the earliest pieces, I built the wax over an underlying armature of paper or cloth. Paper was too slippery--wax slid off--while cloth was too floppy. Then I tried knitting some strips with different yarns and building up the wax on a knitted substructure, which held the wax better than paper did and held its form better than cloth did.
Soon I became interested in the knitting for its own sake, using a variety of knitting stitches and patterns, and making the pieces in such a way that the knit stitches are clearly seen.
I have experimented with the wide range of textures obtainable with contemporary yarns.I have been knitting strips of varying sizes, widths, proportions, shapes and textures--and, when it comes to patina, colors. Some compositions utilize only one or two Moebius strips, others quite a few. Birds continue to be an indispensable element of my pieces; they are more abstract than my previous birds.
I enjoy the idea of combining the ancient medium of bronze and the ancient women's work of knitting with the abstract form of the Moebius strip and the small abstract birds.
The first Moebius strip pieces I made used paper as a substructure which I painted with wax, and soon I switched to yarn underpinnings in simple compositions.
Some of these one-loop compositions explore the textural possibilities of some contemporary funky yarns, fluffy or with bobbles or ribbon bits. Others have the addition of other ornaments or experiment with color in jewel tones or silver.
Two loops provide vastly more design possibilities than single ones. The earliest ones are built on paper, the later ones on knitting. The colors get more adventurous as time goes on.
Some combinations involving more than two loops.
Some pieces use the loops and the negative spaces within them to draw pictures.
The human mind is inclined to see faces and figures in many places where they are not explicit--like the Man in the Moon. I see figures in these compositions of two or more loops.
The Moebius strips in these compositions become very light and animated. Despite the many twists in a number of the pieces, they offset each other so that each piece remains a Moebius strip with only one twist.