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. I love the challenge of working with all the weird ‘junk’ that I have collected (or been given) over the years and then re-inventing new uses & forms for them. I like to wander thru hardware stores,junk yards they always seem to have interesting stuff to discover.I have no idea why the attraction to bike cogs, washers, industrial scrap, 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 with than being something beautiful with wonderful colors, and textures .She names them ‘vessels’ rather than ‘baskets’ as the latter word implies a function. In designing ‘Rumple’,she explores the pliability of the material to create these sculptural reliefs that also reference the visual aesthetics of the copper wire vessels.These vertical wall hangings are initially woven flat on the loom, then later shaped by hand into deep vertical folds.As the panels are bent and twisted , the piece takes on an exciting energy, and the flatness is transformed into a metal wall sculpture with a lively, dynamic and colourfully vibrant surface.
Frances Solar 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.