Alexandra St.Wecker – Sunrise

Artist: Alexandra St.Wecker
Title: Sunrise
Medium: String Art
Grade: 10th
School: Bentley Upper School
Artwork Created Independently



My piece is an example of String Art. I’ve used numbers and measurements to create a pattern using nails and strings, that when alternated create an intricate design. To showcase my piece, I chose a piece of round wood as my base and painted it black, to better show off the string colors and design. I then mapped out the size of the piece and measured out where my nails would go. I made a circle (300 x 300 mm) exactly in the center of the circular wooden board (using a compass) and then used 192 nails spaced exactly 4.9 mm apart from each other around the circle. I used a large protractor to help me space out and mark where each nail would go, so that it was in a circle and spaced exactly the same. This part took me the longest because you have to be very precise in putting the nails exactly 4.9 mm from each other and they are so close, that it was at times very hard to hammer each nail in. In addition, sometimes when I hammered one nail in, I would inadvertently hit another nailhead and it would bend several out of line. I was constantly resetting and adjusting nails to try to get them to stand up straight and exactly 4.9mm from each other. In total, it took me around 5 hours to measure and hammer all the nails in. After that, I painted them black, so that they would blend in with the board. Once all the nails were in, I then had to divide the circle in half (96 nails per side) and enumerate them 1-96 for one side and 1-96 for the other. Then I had to mark off certain nails and the exact opposite on the other half of the circle (nail 1 & nail 1, nail 15 & nail 15, nail 30 & nail 30, nail 44 &nail 44, nail 59 & nail 59, nail 73 & nail 73, nail 6 & nail 6). I then had to mark each of the pairs so that I would know where a certain color started and ended. Once I had the skeleton of my piece, and the particular nails marked, I then selected the color strings I would use. I used regular embroidery thread because it has a nice sheen to it. The first color I used was maroon. I first did a knot at nail 1 and then I looped the string up to nail 1 on the opposite side of the circle and then I went back to number one. On one half of the circle I looped every nail, on the other half I looped every other nail. This created the fan effect with the string. I repeated this step till I finished the color I was using. I would stop looping when I reached 4 nails behind where I started. So I started my 1st color at nail 1 and kept looping till I got to nail 92. I then proceeded to do the colors purple (starting at nail 15… ending on nail 11), then lilac (starting at nail 30… ending on nail 26), then pink (starting at nail 44), then salmon (starting at nail 59), then orange (started at nail 73), then finally gold (started at nail 6). I love math and really like the idea of math in art. People don’t always think about math and art going together, but I think that numbers and angles can be quite beautiful and inspiring. This piece is very much reliant on math, numbers, and measurements. The math behind this string art is coordinate geometry because each string has a unique (x,y) to go to, and if one is off, the fan design is compromised.