THE BIG WON
|WIRE is metal that has been drawn
long, thin rod or thread. SCULPTURE is art in three-dimensional form.
WIRE SCULPTURE is any art made from wire.
What constitutes a "real" wire sculpture? Anything and everything, so
long as wire is the material being used. 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 scupture as a medium presents a vast, challenging
frontier, wide open for exploration and discovery.
Many follow the path of Alexander Calder, using single strands to
create airy, abstract, minimalist essences of people and animals. The
more adventurous depart from Calder's style, creating their own
distinctive and recognizeable forms.
Some wire sculptors enjoy the challenge of restricting themselve to a
single continuous strand. Others combine multiple strands, from a few
to hundreds or even thousands of individual wires. Textile techniques
ordinarily associated with soft fibers may be adapted to wire:
knitting, crocheting, weaving, braiding, twisting, wrapping,
lace-making, sprang, and even basketry methods lend texture, strength
and visual excitement to wire sculpture.
Wire sculptures can be made from man-made meshes, from lightweight
chicken wire and grid-type field fencing to heavy gauge grating. It can
be bent and formed with bare hands, with pliers and jigs, with hammers
and molds. Once again, there are no rules, no limits, no restrictions.
It may be hot-formed, joined to itself by soldering or welding, or
cold-formed, joined to itself by whatever method best suits the
individual wire sculptor.
Wire sculpture can be created in gold, silver and other fine metals.
"Novelty wire" such as color-coated electric and phone wire, and
nitonol "memory wire" offer additional potential. Wire sculpture
designed with motion as an element, wherther from hinge mechanisms,
motor elements, etc, is known as "kinetic wire sculpture". Every time a
wire sculptor picks up a previously unapplied wire, or uses in it a new
way, another form of wire sculpture has been invented - some
adventurous souls even use barbed wire to make monumental forms. It is
this exciting spirit of innovation which marks wire sculpture as a
truly remarkable art form.
Wire sculpture may be abstract or representational, decorative or
functional. Wire furniture, utensils, baskets and decorative screens
are one possibilty; wire forms of humans and animals can serve as
topiary frames, or free-standing garden and landscape art. Wire
sculpture jewelers use precious metals to make pendants, rings,
necklaces, tiaras, and other wearable art.
As a design element, wire sculpture is immensely versatile. It casts
fascinating shadows, which shift continually with changes in weather
and sunlight.It can be visually open and airy, or dense and full of
gravity - some wire sculpture conveys a balance of both. For difficult
spaces, where the mass of a conventional metal sculpture would
oppressively dominate an area, wire sculpture is an ideal solution; it
balances energy, mass, line and space, combining lightness and gravity
to full advantage.
Berrien grants permission to reprint this article in unchanged form,
provided the re-user includes credit for her authorship and a link to
Class Wire Sculpture
· Elizabeth Berrien (707) 445-4931 · email firstname.lastname@example.org
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