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Carol Milne's Knitted Glass

Canadian sculptor Carol Milne, who lives and works in Seattle, US, is best known for her Knitted Glass works. A pioneer in the field of knitted glass, Milne has been pushing the limits of her material through persistent and relentless experimentation. Combining her passion for knitting with her love for cast glass sculpture, her knitted work is technically complicated and unlike any cast glass work being done today. Knitting since the age of ten, the idea for knitted glass came one day in 2002, when Carol was adding sprues to a wax piece she was going to cast in bronze. She had lots red sprue wax strands, two-feet long, lying around her studio when the thought arose. She discovered that she couldn’t knit it with needles, but the question started her down a road of trial and error and experimentation until she figured out how to make it work.

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The basic process she uses is the ancient art of lost-wax casting used by foundry workers, jewellers, and sculptors. Carol first knits the original piece using wax strands, but because the needles stretch the wax too much, she knit each stitch by hand. She then surrounds the knitted wax with plaster to create a mold. Once the mold has hardened, the wax is melted out of the mold, leaving an empty space where the wax pattern used to be. Chunks of glass are placed in the mold and heated to melt the glass. Once the glass has cooled off, the plaster is removed to reveal the knitted glass piece within.

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