Wire wrap artist featured as TACS’ January Artist of the Month

Published 8:00 am Friday, January 18, 2019

For hundreds of years, the art of shaping bonsai trees has resonated with artists.

The origins of this art form began in Asia. The idea is to create a small design that mimics a larger scale tree from the mind of the artist.

Sarah Jane Oiler is such an artist — but there is a twist. She uses the technique of wire wrapping.

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Oiler is currently being honored at Tryon Arts & Crafts School as January’s Artist of the Month.

Inspiration came from her great-grandmother, Jean, who made similar wire wrapped bonsai trees as a hobby.

“After her passing, I kept one of her trees.” Oiler said. “One day, I was admiring it and reflecting upon her strength as a woman growing up in the depression.” 

Oiler first began her journey as a wire-wrapping artist in 2012, while recovering from a difficult battle with breast cancer.

“It was the only thing I could do to keep my head and hands busy while healing from multiple surgeries,” she said.

After winning the battle with cancer, Oiler formed her own business called Bean’s Bonsai and began showing work in art festivals. From there, she was encouraged to teach workshops in 2018 at Tryon Arts & Crafts School.

Oiler’s workshops have gained major popularity, school representatives said.

This year, Oiler’s journey continues. She has recently acquired her own space to teach workshops, which will include pop-up markets in downtown Weaverville, North Carolina.

For now, the public is encouraged to stop in to see Oiler’s artwork on display in the Artist of the Month section, showing through the end of this month at Tryon Arts & Crafts School at 373 Harmon Field Road.

Those interested in learning more may visit tryonartsandcrafts.org.

– Submitted by Kai Elijah Hamilton