Bridget Baker graduated in Zoology from London University and then became a lecturer, teaching mainly Animal Physiology. She started to make wire animals only after retirement, following a visit to an exhibition of work by Alexander Calder who, apart from making his famous mobiles and stabiles, also made small wire circus people and wire portraits of his friends. Bridget adapted his ideas to make wire portraits of animals.
Each figure, based on photographs and drawings of a specific animal, is made from 1mm and 0.7mm galvanized wire which is shaped by stroking or bending with long-nosed pliers. It is then given two coats of enamel paints. Subjects have included fish, frogs, reptiles, and a wide range of birds and mammals but preferred subjects seem to be farm and domestic animals, particularly people’s individual pets. The enjoyment of their creation comes from making them as realistic as possible and from capturing their characters with the minimum of lines.
Bridget is happy to undertake private commissions and to attempt any animal, in any posture. Bespoke pieces start at £50. They are usually about 10cm tall since animals much larger than this look out of proportion with the thickness of wire used.