|Photo credit Stacia Morgan for Ojai Quarterly|
It seems a little strange that a fiber artist works with metal, that each seam of a garment would be soldered together rather than stitched, and that wearing chains would be comfortable. But artists often march to the beat of their own drum, and the best ones can show the beauty to the rest of us. That is exactly what Elaine Unzicker does. Unzicker makes tops, dresses and accessories out of stainless steel chainmail. She prefers to call it metal lace. Although it may be tough as nails, her customers say it is surprisingly delicate and comfortable to wear. A 45-inch-long, one-inch wide scarf weighs only two ounces.
Unzicker has gathered quite the following across the country. In 2016, she won first place in the fiber category at the Sausalito Art Festival and at Miami’s Coconut Grove Arts Festival, was featured in a trunk show at Philadelphia Museum of Art, and in 2018 participated in a fashion show at the Museum of Ventura County in California. Her first metal lace dress, “Shimmering Free,” won an award in an international art exhibit at the Palo Verdes Art Center.
|Elaine Unzicker 2016 Award Winner First Place Fiber Award|
Theput Unzicker’s work on the cover of the fall 2018 issue. Northwest of Los Angeles and at the southern border of Los Padres National Forest, Ojai is a small California town that Unzicker has called home since 2001. Living in this artistic community, surrounded by open space and mountains allowed Unizcker to grow as an artist and create larger pieces like “Shimmering Free” and the dress on the magazine’s cover, “Splashes of Gold.”
Unzicker tells the magazine she was surprised by a request from a photographer to borrow the dress. But she took the risk, and let the $10,000 dress go to a Harley Davidson photo shoot in Miami, making a natural connection between her art and biker culture. In the magazine article, she goes on to describe her artistic process and how she makes metal lace wearable art.
The artists customers are quite diverse. A scroll through her Cottonwood Art Festival during October 6-7, 2018 in Richardson, TX. You can also shop her collection on her website .shows the appeal of her garments to young and old, men and women, who have a variety of personal styles. Many of her pieces are unique and she enjoys creating custom commissioned pieces. Unzicker will show her work for the first time at