Sunday, 17 January 2010

Exploring a piece of wire

A piece of wire ----

... useful & ordinary... and often overlooked as a medium for creative art work - WIRE SCULPTURE

Elizabeth Berrien, godmother of modern wire sculpture movement defines WIRE SCULPTURE as "any art made from wire.... There are no rules, no limits, no boundaries. Just as there are infinite variations in the way an artist may create a pen-and-ink drawing of any subject in any style, there are unlimited opportunities for wire sculptors to explore and innovate. Wire sculpture as a medium presents a vast, challenging frontier, wide open for exploration and discovery."
"Cloud Princess", intricately hand-twisted wire illustration by Elizabeth Berrien,

Some artists, Angela Hook have a preference for using a single strand to create 3-dimensional figurines.

"One of the big things I had to learn was to let the wire bend the way it wanted to, if that was at all possible within my designs. You will find that the more you mess with a piece of wire, the less it is willing to cooperate with you!
So, rather than overworking the wire, I have trained myself to work slow and steady, and have learned to respect the natural tendancies of a roll of wire. Making the right bend the first time is far more desirable than trying to correct the direction of the wire later.

"I see my work as 'linear sculpture'... it's like drawing without taking your pencil off the paper... only in three dimensions." The continuous line is very important. That is what helps the viewer's mind to fill in what is not there. It's a very elegant way of asking the audience to participate in the art, to finish the picture."

Using wire to create sculptures is the most greenest (eco-friendly) way of using metal in art. Elizabeth Berrien's airy, openwork sculptures use only 1% of material of solid metal art.

If we think of it, wire just surrounds the air and defines the shape. So a WIRE SCULPTURE IS actually 99% AIR%. Elizabeth uses recycled steel, copper or aluminum wire and hand-twist and weave lace-like creations. which is a low-tech method, that does not use welding torches that often releases chemical emissions.

This includes any kind of wire - hardware store bought wire, found/discarded wire, chicken coop wire, wire meshes, even colourful wire pipe cleaners.

Sculptures can be 2-D or 3-D.

2-D 3-D
Made from a single strand of copper wire!

Brass, copper & silver wire is commonly used in jewellery-making, wrapping semi-precious stones & combined with beads.

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