Experimental fashion in the world of Sarah Ivancic means mixing materials, making something unexpected, and challenging jewelry and garments to do more than just hang on the body. They must say something, make a statement.
"Anything that relates to the human form really appeals to me, and because I come from a costuming state of mind, I feel like everything you put on informs how you project yourself to the world," she says. Ivancic, 22, studied fiber arts, including costume design, at Maryland Institute College of Art before moving to Tremont.
Today Ivancic is wearing black leather combat boots, a knitted skirt and a knit turban.She works to "create a character through clothing," and this philosophy also guides her crocheted jewelry designs available at The Nest in Tremont and online at Etsy. "We decorate ourselves to make a statement, to get a job, to attract a mate, so everything from a ring that you might wear to a necklace lends a hand in that," she says.
Ivancic's version of crochet is out of the traditionalist's comfort zone. "I am always trying to experiment, to do something that challenges the structure of the material," she says of working with different colored copper wires she buys from craft stores. Ivancic often incorporates cotton or natural fibers along with metal. "I like that juxtaposition," she says.
A lover of all things handmade, Ivancic enjoys crocheting and the tedious work required to create systems of tiny knots out of copper wire using a crochet hook and her imagination. The results are pieces such as her silver metals crochet swirls necklace that incorporates 26-gauge copper wire delicately knotted into spirals and coils. The process takes anywhere from three to six hours. Ivancic manipulates the malleable copper with jewelry pliers, her hands and a very small crochet hook.
"I find the sculptural qualities you can discover with crochet to be appealing," Ivancic continues, explaining how she imitates tatting, a technique used in lace-making, to "build" jewelry pieces that are in many ways scaled-down versions of gallery art. "Fiber art has a way of breaking down the barriers of the gallery wall," she says.
Ivancic's wearable art is a more portable expression. "Not everyone wants this or that on their wall," she says, "but someone might want a beautiful piece of jewelry to wear."