Braided wire art is a form of artistic expression in which wires are twisted, woven or braided to create intricate patterns and shapes. This type of art is often used to create jewellery, sculptures, and decorative items. Braided wire art can be created using a variety of different wire materials such as copper, silver, and gold, as well ass other types of metals and alloys. The wires are typical thin and flexible, which makes them ideal for shaping and manipulating into various forms and designs.
So, following my plan, I decided to build a watch using the stripped electrical wires which have been cast away in my lab. The aesthetics I decided to fit my artifact into is Wire-punk. This aesthetic draws inspiration from the technology and design of the late 19th century and early 20th centuries, but with the use of brass and copper, which are commonly associated with the steampunk aesthetic. In addition to its focus on electrical components, the wire-punk aesthetic also emphasizes the DIY and handmade ethos of steampunk culture. Many wire-punk designs incorporate repurposed or salvaged materials, as well as handmade components and unique customization . Overall, the wire-punk aesthetic is a celebration of the intersection between technology and creativity, and an exploration of the possibilities of incorporating electrical and electronic components into the design of physical objects.
I started with making the ring for the center component of the watch. I chose to solder together 6 rings of silver single strand wires. These wires were wound around a cylindrical pipe to maintain the consistency. In addition to the rings, to emphasize the aesthetic, I decided to wind a copper wire around the stack of rings.
Second component I tackled was the band of the watch. This was an arduous task as It was very difficult to straighten the wires and maintain it as I wound the copper wire around it. All the components in my artifact have been hand crafted as I wanted to stick to the customization aspect of the aesthetic. After changing the method three times, I was finally able to get a somewhat consistent winding of copper wire around the single strand silver wires. I then soldered the ends of the copper wires to the band to make it more sturdy. To get the semi-circular bend, I bent this wire band around my own wrist.
Next was the base for the face of the watch, which was accomplished by hammering down a wire mesh I soldered. I stacked 4 of these wire meshes to get the interwoven look. Initially, I wanted to twist the thin copper wire to form the digits of the watch. But because of the limited spacing, I decided to keep just markings made of twisted copper wires. The hands of the watch are basically the end leads of the wires I stripped. I intended to keep the face of the watch exposed and open, but made an impulsive decision to cover the top with a plastic disc which I hand-cut from the container, in which, we get our wires from in my lab, with intentions to stick with the “WIRE” theme. Overall, the build was fun and I am somewhat happy with the end product.
In retrospect, I intend to make a version 2 of the same watch which will be much more refined and will have a much more polished look. I plan to make better measurements to maintain a correct proportion for the watch and also work with tools so as to achieve a much better and tighter woven look.
Here is a link for the recording of the presentation.