I have been making sculpture out of wire for several years now and I still find it fascinating because whatever I plan always comes out a little different. No one believes me when I tell them that wire has a mind of it’s own but it’s really true!
Wire art has been around for a very long time. Egyptians made jewelry out of wire… twisted, coiled, or hammered into beautiful ornamental brooches, rings, hair pieces, collars, bracelets, and necklaces. The bracelet below is a copy I made of an ancient Egyptian design using a coil method of fashioning links that are then hooked together to form a continuous band.
Egyptian Queen Nefertiti never lacked beautiful jewelry and always looked stunning!
So why make something out if wire? I always like a good challenge and nothing could be more challenging than making something delicate and beautiful out of an ordinary (and dirty) material like wire! Dirty? Yes, very! Reason being that dark annealed wire, which is what I use, is coated with an oil to keep it from rusting. Once it is sculpted, it wears off so the final piece should be coated with a protective element.
Wire comes in gauges. The larger the number gauge, the thinner the wire. The smaller the gauge, the thicker the wire. You would have to choose a gauge appropriate for your needs. I chose a 20 gauge wire to build my sculpture with. I also used a thin 30 gauge floral wire for wrapping.
Tools! You can never have enough of them it seems. I inherited some from my dad and brother, both who were master jewelers. Needle nosed and flat nosed pliers are best for manipulating wire.
A good wire cutter is essential.
Here are my tools.
I have been working on a place setting ( thank you Judy Chicago/ Brooklyn Museum) made from wire. So far I have completed a spoon, knife, and fork. A goblet is in the making and a plate is on my brain!
Each piece started about the same. I took two pieces of wire, about 24″ long and bound them together in the center with the floral wire. I wrapped the floral wire around each ‘rib’ of the utensil and continued until I formed the ‘sculpture’.
Here is how I started and below is my fork, knife, and spoon!
So where does the iPad come into the picture? Well I use it to take photos of my art processes but I also made an accidental discovery to take this process to a whole new level!
Until next time : )