Happify: 1957 Purse

Why I Work with Wire

Working with wire is like drawing three-dimensional pictures in air.  It’s much more than reshaping tightly wound wire from a spool. It’s about making real things– baskets, sculpture, and jewelry– that visualize ideas, that reflect emotions, and that show a sense of humor and wit.  Because to me, art in our lives should be about provoking reactions, stimulating memories, creating smiles, and making connections.

Pop Box

By definition, baskets are intended to hold things.  Mine are, too, although they may not hold what you expect.  Some are made with thick heavy wire and shaped so you could store the past year of The New Yorker in them if you wanted; these I consider functional.  Others are made with very fine gauge wire and shaped with the intention or holding only air or your attention; these I call sculptural.

My Life as an Earring

Many of my baskets have beads that are added during the weaving process.  Beads help your eyes define the basket’s shape, like little fingers saying “look here, see this curve?”  Beads also contribute color, texture, and their own three dimensional form. And because I primarily use beads harvested from vintage jewelry, they come with a certain patina from age, have a shape that’s more unusual, and a mysterious history of when and where they were made and who wore them over the years.

Halfsies Necklace and earrings, close up

All my baskets are created with a specific concept in mind.  Some represent places I have traveled to, others are based on emotions, some reflect puns.  Some are based on the concept of things lost in time, and for these, real objects are worked into the basket or sculpture. Using items out of context (not in their original purpose) highlights their physical properties (shape, color, texture, size) so that emotions, associations, and memories attached to them by you, the viewer, can also emerge. Remember playing marbles as a kid?  Now those marbles are part of a basket or necklace.  Marbles out of context, but not out of reach… As a result, I am always on the hunt for small things–  the jetsam and flotsam of life– that are easily recognizable, quirky and strange, and will thrive in a new context.

Patchwork Basket

So go ahead and store brilliant Granny Smith apples in a wire + paper Color Swatch Basket and see how its colors instantly come to life, matching what they hold and making you smile.  Watch the sun sparkle through the stainless steel wire and crystal beads of a Compassion Basket, and feel the warmth the basket exudes and how its shape seems like a hug. See if you recognize the found objects woven into My Life as a Basket, the series devoted to memories we attach to things.We all have connections with objects, colors, and shapes. When these associations are presented in the different context of a wire basket, sculpture, or piece of jewelry, a new dialogue has begun.