Creating art with the familiar – Jere Moskovitz

Have you ever seen images from a scanning electron microscope? They’re incredible. Black and white relief maps of familiar surfaces magnified to reveal intricate, complex, other -worldly, and utterly fascinating micro-landscapes.  The unexpected beauty found in the familiar patterns of Jere Moskovitz’s jewelry reminds me of this intricacy found in nature and displayed in SEM images.

Rather than the patterns of nature seen in the images, Moskovitz’s jewelry uses the patterns and geometry created by simple knit and crochet stitches and brought to another level in the copper wire. Join us this weekend as Jere shares her jewelry and demonstrates some of her techniques.

We asked Jere to talk a little to us about her jewelry and art, before the upcoming trunk show.

How long have you been using textile techniques with metal?

I don’t consider that I am creating fiber, but rather I am using wire in various textile techniques resulting in pieces that have familiar structures but expressed in wire. I started experimenting with wire in 2011. Initially, I purchased a book written by Annie Modesitt called Twist and Loop (published in 2006) and tried several of the techniques in that book. I then met with Adrienne Sloane, also in 2011, and she taught me one of the techniques I still use.

A lot of the fascination of working with fiber is the ‘squish factor’, that doesn’t really apply when working with wire. What is the fascination for you?

For me, the fascination is being able to create a piece in wire that can be embellished or changed by the addition of metal rings, beads inside or outside, pendants hanging from it, fiber embellishments, etc. I have expanded the techniques and scale of the knitted structures I am using in order to be able to accommodate the embellishments. My color selection in the wire is very specific (i.e. using metal colors and not other random colors) and therefore becomes the color base I am always working in as I find or make additional embellishments.

Do you actually knit with needles and crochet with a hook?

For my crochet bracelets, I use a traditional crochet hook and traditional crochet stitches…the only difference being I am crocheting wire and not fiber.

For my knitted structures, I use a few different methods:

a. Spool knitting

This uses finer gauge wire and is done on a simple spool with pegs. This allows me to do some pieces that I couldn’t do in the other wire structure.

b. Knit Structure

My wire knit structure is not knit on knitting needles. When I tried that, I found the results to be very irregular which is a benefit to some but for me, I prefer the more regular look of the technique I do use. The end result of the look of my work looks very similar to Viking Knit (which is actually a wire weaving technique) but is achieved in a different way and allows me to use 1 continuous wire for a whole necklace (no need to join ends of wire). I have never met anybody else using this technique, other than Adrienne Sloane. I will be demonstrating this technique during the trunk show.

c. Crochet hook

I have also done some work where the appearance of a knitted structure is accomplished with a very fine crochet hook. I will bring examples of this to the trunk show.

What’s next? Beyond knitting and crocheting with wire?

I have experimented with kumihimo made from wire which is still in the experimental stage. Just last month, I began experimenting with macrame in wire and have launched earrings made from macrame wire embellished with glass beads or gemstones.

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