Wire crochet lovers - do you know Mary Lee Hu ?

October 04, 2017

Wire crochet lovers - do you know Mary Lee Hu ?

Have you heard about  Mary Lee Hu

Since you are here I can only assume you are enthusiastic about wire work just as me,and since I assume you are, I'm sure you'll adore these exquisite wire jewelry pieces by Mary Lee Hu.

Mary Lee Hu wire technique

 Mary Lee Hu wire work

I'm a bit embarrassed to say I never really stopped and looked deeply into her work, but while browsing through an Arline Fisch book that I have about textile metal working, I realized Mary Lee Hu uses in some of her designs a technique similar to the Invisible spool knitting.

Mary Lee Hu wire necklace

She refrains to it as spool knitting without a spool, not that different from the invisible spool knitting name i gave it I would say.. From what I can see it is similar but not identical, she uses a tiny crochet hook like us but she always goes 3 rows downwards, like I do with the double knit, going 2 rows downward. She writes she uses 26 gauge and thinner wires . one BIG difference is that she doesn't work in the round but flat, i copied the relevant phrase for you to read for yourself  .

"I wanted to knit wire so it will have the density of a Tibetan piece I had, and found I could use a crochet hook to pull the loops through the the previous row of loops-or,in the case of Tibetan piece, the row of loops 3 rows previous- overlapping the loops to achieve density I wanted. Knitting   can be started from any row of loops. I carry the wire at the back of the piece, pulling the loops towards me,not turning it over but always working from the front, left to right and back again right to left. This gives the herringbone pattern.The revers side looks quite different - like the inside of socks."  (Knitted, Knotted, Twisted, and Twined: The Jewelry of Mary Lee Hu )

Mary Lee Hu modern wire work

I dig into her work to find the ones that are executed in the invisible spool knitting technique, which I'm afraid wasn't easy, out of dozens of pieces only 2 are made this way, apparently not her top favorite technique ...

Did I mention the book landed at my door this morning ?  I ordered the book via Amazon, wanted to be bale to flip through the pages and read e v e r y t h i n g :) The book is hard cover, high quality printing with top of the notch photos, classic dark backgrounds, although some of the pieces are modern, the overall feeling is a very established one, if you get what I mean. The book is mainly a portfolio, if you were wondering about how to tips im afraid you might be disappointed, the are only 8 or so pages with technical explanations, very general and will probably not add too much to what most people working with wire already know. Although I knew it was not an how to book , I was hoping for a few more secrets shared.

But the sensation of flipping through the pages of her work and seeing every little stitch is very enjoyable to me, I'm very glad I bought it :)  

Mary Lee Hu gold necklace

 Have you ran into an interesting book about  wires lately ? share it with us :)  !


Yael aka Yoola


Got here by chance and want to get hooked on my invisible spool kitting technique ?

read here : where do I start to learn wire crochet in the ISK technique 

or contact me ! I'm email friendly :)



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