Wire As a Medium

By: Lilly He

Wire sits at the crossroads of many different roles. It can be used to make fences or to link objects. We’ve found a shape for metal that we use to hold up bridges and to serve as sources of light. It’s used in all sorts of electronics, and it can be used as part of musical instruments and art installations.

Wire is an exciting medium to work with because there aren’t strictly defined rules of how it’s supposed to be used. There’s a sense of spontaneity. Wire itself is essentially one dimensional, but it can be used to form 2D and 3D pieces, effortlessly moving between dimensions. Wire jumps around as you work with it, which can be frustrating at times, but it also serves as a reminder that you’re working with a physical object that takes up space. It is always so rewarding to be able to hold the finished piece.

One of my favorite ways to destress is to make small jewelry pieces with wire. It’s easy to be cynical and think of jewelry as perpetuating social divisions and coming from an exploitative industry, but we humans have a long history of creating and wearing jewelry just to enjoy decorating ourselves. 

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