Sten Hoiland

I was initially drawn to wire sculpture by the early figures of Alexander Calder. His work was in the back of my mind when I began to play with these forms.

There is a constant challenge in working three dimensionally with wire. Because it's still basically a line drawing, the figures are stuck somewhere between two and three dimensions. I'm constantly trying to suggest as many good vantage points while maintaining a simplicity to keep the energy as light as possible. The changing shadows cast by the movement of the figures add additional dimensions to the sculptures.

I love the elated energy and movement in the leaps of dancers, though I am also drawn to themes involving the whimsical, dry humor of everyday people and activities. Recently I have ventured into animal themes, both serious (wildlife) and humorous (often pets).

I also love the portability of wire. My wire "studio" is like a knitting basket allowing me to bring it with me almost anywhere. In the past I have worked in ceramics and photography which both require a great deal of equipment, a long drawn out process, and expensive materials. With wire I have none of these encumbrances. As a result of my portability, I occasionally work as a demo artist in galleries during an open house or an art walk. I enjoy constantly working out new ideas and always welcome commissions.

My material of choice is rebar tie wire (#16 gauge), though I also work in aluminum and occasionally copper. Thicker gauge aluminum (3/16) allows me to create larger works including life-sized human figures.


After graduation from UC Berkeley with a degree in Resource Studies I have had a variety of careers including teaching, farming and small business owner. I have dabbled in a wide variety of art forms for years taking classes at both Chico State and Butte College. In 1999 I received the Dean's Award from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at CSU Chico. In the fall of 2004, I sold my small business in order to focus on my art on full time basis. My work currently shows in galleries in northern California and southern Oregon. I currently live in Chico, CA with my daughter Kea, two demanding cats.

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