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Let the Wire Inspire by Angela Hook
Angela Hook : Let the Wire Inspire Book Review

Book Review

Let the Wire Inspire: Release Your Creative Energy

Angela Hook (Aurora Publishing, 2004)

By Chris Dunmire

Read an excerpt from Angela Hook's Who knew that bending and twisting strands of wire into works of art could be so much fun?

Wire artists, that's who. Artists like Alexander Calder (1898-1976), who is credited with developing this new method of sculpting in the 20th century and changing the course of modern art with his three-dimensional wire figures and harmoniously- balanced mobiles. And others like Elizabeth Berrien, acclaimed as the "Godmother" of the modern wire sculpture movement who has made a living from her wire animals since 1980.

Add another artist to this list: Angela Hook.

When I first came upon Angela Hook's Wire Inspire Web site I immediately knew that whatever she had to say about "expressing oneself creatively" through wire was worth its weight in gold. One click into the site's gallery not only revealed a stable full of beautifully-sculptured single-strand wire horses sitting, standing, galloping, and jumping, but expressed what wire artists have long relished about this unconventional artistic medium: it's creative, addictive, and fun.

What is it about wire art that resonates with so much familiarity? Quite simply, wire represents one of the most basic visual elements of art: the line. And with an exclusive focus on the line, an artist can interpret it into 3D space to produce infinite possibilities of artistic expression. It's simplistic, yet full of unbending potential.

You will learn a lot about wire art just by visiting Angela's Web site. She began exploring this artistic medium in 2002, and now teaches workshops and books speaking engagements on wire art. And if you'd like to bend beyond the surface and get some hands-on experience with this medium, I highly recommend reading Angela's book, Let the Wire Inspire: Release Your Creative Energy. No doubt, you'll get one of the most friendliest, assuring, and encouraging introductions to wire art in the world! I know because I read the book cover-to-cover in one afternoon and promptly made a courageous attempt at bending my very first wire sculpture: a fish in a bowl.

Look what you already know before you make it past page one. Angela instructs:

"I strongly encourage you to have some wire nearby as you read. Any wire will do. Wire that was meant to hang a picture, secure a garbage bag, or even build a fence will serve your purpose to start. It will help to get you thinking about space. It will allow you to relate to the descriptions in the book. Feel free to handle your wire as you go. Twisting, holding, bending, and kinking. Essentially, you will be 'doodling in space'. Without a pattern or directions, your mind will wander and explore the texture, resistance, smoothness, and strength of the wire without panicking about what it was meant to be in the end. This will allow you to begin your relationship with this amazing new medium."

Along with this assurance you'll have the privilege of accompanying Angela through six chapters: "Searching for a Creative Outlet", "The Language of Wire", "Exploring the Third Dimension", "Wire as Art Therapy", "A Project: Energy Angel", and "Sharing Your Experience."

And as the purpose of Let the Wire Inspire is to introduce you to this flexible artistic medium and guide you towards being creative with your own artistic ideas, Angela also provides a step-by-step "Energy Angel" project complete with dozens of detailed photos showing you how to bend, twist, and secure your wire into a finished hanging sculpture. The techniques you learn in this easy-to-follow tutorial can later be transferred into your own angelic works of art!

Let the Wire Inspire: Release Your Creative Energy by Angela Hook is available at her Web site,

Want to learn more about Angela's book Let the Wire Inspire? Read an excerpt from chapter one: Wire Art — A Whole New Language »

© 2007 Chris Dunmire. All rights reserved.

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