How to Make a Lizard Wire Sculpture : Basics of Wire Sculpture
DEB HUGLIN VOGEL: Hi, I’m Debbie “The Roboteer.”
I’m here for Expert Village at San Diego Art Institute: Museum of the Living Artist. And
I’m going to make a wire sculpture with one piece of wire, just the way Sandy Calder taught
me. I actually am a professional sculptor, and I’m from Des Moines, Iowa. We were really
lucky in Des Moines to be in the heart of great magazines and art when I was a kid.
Life magazine and Look magazine were there, and there’s a fabulous art center called the
Des Moines Art Center there. Peggy Patrick was the head of studio classes, and even as
a small child, I got to go and be in the studio classes and learn with real artists. At the
same time, Sandy Calder, who’s Alexander Calder, one of the greatest mid-century modern sculptors
on earth, was making a bank in my hometown. And so I got to work with him quite often.
He made a bank at 801 Grand, which is oddly enough a place that was torn down to make
a 44-story skyscraper that I worked on later in life. Sandy made sculptures out of one
piece of wire, and even though it doesn’t look like it’s one piece of wire, it’s very
strong like a giant safety pin. So we’re going to make a lizard in this very same style,
and hopefully, you guys will get to make lots of sculptures in the way Sandy taught me,
because it is so much fun and it’s something called kinetic art. It actually has movement.
It has tensile strength. You can make it do whatever you want. It’s great stuff.