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Article: Wire sculpture

Wire sculpture

Alexander Calder and Ruth Asawa

  • Alexander Calder developed the use of wire as a medium for sculpture.
  • He created various wire sculptures including the Cirque Calder, Two Acrobats, Romulus and Remus, and Hercules and Lion.
  • Calder started creating the Cirque Calder after making toys for a Serbian toy merchant in Paris.
  • He had solo shows of wire sculptures at the Weyhe Gallery in New York City and Galerie Billiet in Paris.
  • Calder believed wire sculpture had an important place in the history of art.
  • Ruth Asawa gained prominence with her wire sculptures at the Whitney Museum of American Art and São Paulo Art Biennial.
  • She learned to use wire from Josef Albers at Black Mountain College.
  • Asawa experimented with crocheted wire sculptures inspired by techniques used to make baskets in Toluca, Mexico.
  • She explored tied wire sculptures rooted in nature, geometry, and abstraction.
  • Asawa emphasized the use of lines and transparency in her work.

Contemporary practitioners

  • Brian Boyer creates wire trees using recycled copper/aluminum wire and mathematical formulas.
  • Gavin Worth combines realistic images with 3D abstract forms, allowing the viewer to change the image by viewing it from different angles.
  • Kue King sculpts wire using a woven additive technique and incorporates feathers.
  • Elizabeth Berrien is considered the Godmother of Wire, inspiring emerging wire sculptors.
  • Racso Jugarap's works focus on organic volume and fluidity, including wearable wire arts.

Wire sculpture jewelry

  • Wire sculpture jewelry can be created using simple tools like pliers, pin vises, and wire cutters.
  • Various decorative metals and cross-sections of wire can be used.
  • Beads or gemstones can be integrated into the design.
  • Beginners often start with less expensive craft wires like brass, copper, aluminum, or gold fill.
  • Progression can be made to more expensive metals like sterling silver and 14k gold-filled wire.

Metals used

  • Precious metals like silver or gold are not cost-effective for beginners.
  • Craft wires made from brass, copper, aluminum, or gold fill are commonly used.
  • Artists gain experience with form and wire handling before using more expensive metals.
  • 14k gold-filled wire contains a tube of 14k gold with jewelers brass in the middle.
  • Gold-filled wire offers a range of colors and enables expansive jewelry designs.

Wire sculpture Data Sources

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