Wire Artist: Angela Hook
Angela Hook graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Alberta. There, she was exposed to many forms of art and types of media. In 2002 she began exploring the possibilities of wire as an artistic medium. With few resources existing on the subject, she set out to re-popularize this form of creative expression as well as develop her technical expertise in a craft that seemed to have been forgotten.
“I see my work as ‘linear sculpture’… it’s like drawing without taking your pencil off the paper… only in three dimensions.” The continuous line is very important. That is what helps the viewer’s mind to fill in what is not there. It’s a very elegant way of asking the audience to participate in the art, to finish the picture.
Growing up with horses made them a regular subject in Hook’s art throughout the years. From doodles in sketch books to a life-size paper maché colt constructed of wrapping paper tubes and chicken wire. It was only natural that her first wire sculpture should be a horse…and it was! Although kind of wobbly and wiggly, this first piece created from a single strand of copper wire has led to years of exploration and practice creating equine characters and scenes from wire.
An intimate knowledge of equine behaviour and conformation has allowed most of Hook’s work to come from memory and imagination, however, the ability to capture the differences between breeds and personalities occaisionally requires observation or visual references. Or at least that’s her excuse for sneaking out into the pastures to take photos!
Hook has also expanded her range of materials to include copper tubing. This has allowed her to work on a much larger scale while applying the same vision and techniques she does with the wire. Working bigger means having to overcome a whole new set of technical challenges caused by the size and weight of the tubing sculptures.
It is on the artist’s bucket list to learn to weld some day, so that her creations can become life-sized!
Creating a Wire Sculpture
by wire artist, Angela Hook
It has taken years of practice for me to reach the point in my work where I have mastered the basic skills and structural challenges of working in wire.
Through much trial and error, I have come to develop a personal style that honors the fluid linear nature of a single strand of wire.
One of the big things I had to learn was to let the wire bend the way it wanted to, if that was at all possible within my designs. You will find that the more you mess with a piece of wire, the less it is willing to cooperate with you! So, rather than overworking the wire, I have trained myself to work slow and steady, and have learned to respect the natural tendancies of a roll of wire. Making the right bend the first time is far more desirable than trying to correct the direction of the wire later.
Everyone will have different ways of working. You will find a way that is right for your own creative expression!
Interested to see how she does it? Watch a video of Angela Hook Creating a Wire Horse.
Angela also enjoys photography and painting…