I find the improvised play of the masculine materials with the traditional feminine techniques & forms free standing sculpture & wall mounted work is endlessly entertaining & challenging.It is very satisfying to be able to transcend the inherent qualities of the metallic materials often associated with weight & rigidity and create forms that are sensual & flowing in appearance.
She loves the challenge of working with all the weird ‘junk’ that she has collected (or been given )over the years and then re-inventing new uses & forms for them. She likes to wander thru hardware stores,junk yards,Boeing Surplus before it closed,- they always seem to have interesting stuff to discover.
She has no idea why the attraction to bike cogs,washers ,industrial scrap, sliced up beer cans ( husband gets the beer), old keys & coins.
She has been a traditional weaver & textile artist for many years, and applying the same techniques & ideas to industrial materials is a natural progression of her work.She began working with copper as its warm color has always attracted her. Copper wire is easily available in many colors, and just like traditional fibers it is flexible,can be manipulated,patinated etc. She now has more freedom to design & improvise on the loom as she weaves & the resulting wire cloth can be shaped into a sculptural form that has no real function other than being something beautiful with wonderful colors, and textures .She names them ‘vessels’ rather than ‘baskets’ as the latter word implies a function.
The wall mounted ‘Scrapyard Quilts” are created with squares of stainless steel mesh,onto which are stitched woven copper elements , bike cogs, washers,and other metals. The strong geometry of traditional textile quilts has always interested her. The basic block pattern in the quilts by itself is not too interesting but when many are assembled,subtle shifts in color, alignment,& pattern occur and a bigger more complex modular design emerges after the mesh squares are linked together. She doesn’t know how to weld or solder, so all the fastenings are textile based.
Fran is mostly self taught as a weaver, but her B of Interior Design , U of Manitoba gave her an excellent training in color and design. In 1995, ’97 &’ 99 she attended Basket Focus Conferences in Toronto & the Okanagan, taking workshops with John Garrett, Dorothy Gill Barnes, Arline Fisch, all of whom set her off in exciting new directions.