titaniumart.com - Fine Art and Functional Works in Titanium

Artist Bernie Wire


Orginal Kalimba Music
Summer Groove by
Bernie Wire

click to listen


Director of Stress Management
photo taken Gorman, CA


See California Wild Flowers in bloom

  During studies in the University of Oklahoma\\'s Fine Arts program in the early 1980s’ professor Lane Coulter introduced titanium as a metal that could be colored. This would become the launch of a 40-year exploration of titanium applications in art and functional objects. Architectural elements, tools, jewelry, sculpture, wall pieces, musical instruments are just some of the areas explored in Bernie’s titanium works.

The initial attraction to titanium was its ability to create brilliant interference colors by oxidation. Colors produced on the surface of titanium contain no pigments. Like colors created in soap bubbles, light waves interact through a clear oxide film of titanium dioxide (Ti02). Color range is controlled by oxide thickness.

Titanium has unique sound resonating qualities, capable of carrying meditative tones for several minutes. This inspired a new direction with a series of sound sculptures entitled "Temple Bells" and musical instruments.

As a university student in 1980, titanium was not readily available and aerospace scrap yards proved to be a valuable resource for raw materials and unique forms. Initially, small pieces were fabricated using adhesives, or mechanical means. As a research assistant in the University of Oklahoma’s school of Chemical Engineering a rarely used piece of micro spot welding equipment was discovered in storage and became an essential tool in joining titanium.

While on MFA scholarship at Arizona State University, Bernie proposed a two-month titanium welding study to a manufacturer of welding equipment. This proposal was accepted and led to a five-year position solving welding issues for the company and their customers. In 1989, after having been recognized as an innovator in the field of micro resistance spot-welding, Bernie founded the company Wire Works to provide independent consulting services to the industry. Since then, Bernie has presented several papers on resistance welding at the yearly Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing Technology and have received their Creative and Innovative Research Award as well as the prestigious Ambassador Award for my contributions to the jewelry industry.

Forty years ago titanium was commonly perceived as an exotic metal used principally for aerospace. Today the aerospace industry remains the largest user of titanium metal, but as many new commercial applications for titanium are developed worldwide interest in titanium is increasing.

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