Look at that vain bastard up there...
Technically, my interest in wire as a medium started in my high school art class where I found I had a knack for assemblage after raiding the metal scrap bin. It was then that I discovered how versatile wire could be and used to piece together some cool creatures. However, this was high school and at that time, I wanted to be a writer, so I only focused on art for school projects and rarely on my own.
I didn't get too serious about wire sculpture until my mid 20s. It was an accident. I started dabbling in assemblage again because I needed a hobby. I had been living in a southern Oregon town with little to do, I didn't have much spare time outside of work and at one point I lived in a house way out in the country with bad television reception and no internet for a full year. So yeah, I needed a hobby.
But the kicker was when I started playing with scrap copper wire as a way to pass the time during my break time at work. One day I made a little scorpion out of a couple strands of wire and thought to myself, what else can I make with this stuff? I worked at an electric motor repair shop at the time. There was no shortage of scrap wire. I got permission from my boss to take some home for art projects and that's when my obsession truly began.
I spent what little spare time I had constantly experimenting with wire. I kept a Leatherman and some wire on me at all times, just in case I had the opportunity to twist something up. I started filling up my home with bigger scorpions, giant spiders, bizarre creatures twisted out of copper.
Eventually, people began telling me I was an artist. Until then, I hadn't thought of myself that way. I was just a guy with an unusual hobby.
In 2009 I ended up moving to Portland. Having bought over 50 lbs of scrap wire from my old job for super cheap, I had plenty to continue honing my craft. Plus, there was a decent art market in Portland, and I felt I was finally ready to try to sell some of my creations. Naturally, it was slow going at first. I'd try to sell at local street fairs and art markets that were either free or inexpensive to vend. I'd rarely sell much, and I'd get lots of compliments, but it was enough to keep me from giving up.
My art evolved, of course. I look back at some of my older work now and cringe. And then I marvel at the progress I've made. My sculptures became more colorful, more detailed, more... badass. I began implementing different materials like beads, yarn, nails, and doll parts. I began to actually sell pieces on a semi regular basis. Some people would to ask me to make custom pieces just for them in exchange for cash. That is a good feeling. I've even sold some pieces to people who live in different states, and different countries like Canada and the U.K. I've even shipped pieces to on the other side of the world to Australia and the Philippines! I'm an international sensation, baby!