The Many Forms of Wire

I used to have a friend who would make little sculptures out of wire— copper, if I’m remembering correctly— that were quite amazing, given their size and simplicity. So amazing, they would sell like hot cakes at art fairs and street festivals (in fact, I think she usually did better than the actual hot cake stand that was sometimes near by). Her artistic process involved thin strands of wire which she would bend, mold and link into little figurines of people, animals and other recognizable shapes. Her talent at seeing and understanding line and contour was obviously quite evident to everyone, but that she could so effortlessly see and understand it on a three dimensional plane was astounding to me. I had been a student of the two dimensional; drawing, painting, doodling on bathroom stalls, etc.— even printmaking’s consideration toward positive and negative space was something difficult to get my head around at times. What’s more, the way that this seemingly insignificant piece of wire could transform into a piece of art gave me a whole new appreciating for the value of wire.

Appreciating wire doesn’t only have to happen at an art fair, though. Wire forms are all around us, making life easier and safer in loads of different ways. Some of these ways can be found in the medical, automotive, construction, hardware and aerospace fields. Within these fields, wire forming can be utilized as safe and sterile wire baskets used for storage, various hardware components in cars and power transmission purposes, as well simple things like clips, pins and filters to more complicated things, such as wire screens. Wire forms are also used as coils, rings, grills, wire-stents, guide-wires, carts and tubes. Furthermore, wire forms can be made from a range of materials, such as aluminum, brass and, like my friend’s sculptures, copper. Like for most industrial products and equipment, though, stainless steel is the most preferred.

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