May 23, 2024

Stella Maria L. de Guia
Japanese American wire art sculptor and advocate  Ruth Asawa inspired the world with her  crocheted wire masterpieces. Asawa, who would have been 96 today, was famous in San Francisco as the “fountain lady”. 
According to Suzanne Muchnic of the Los Angeles Times, “Asawa designed ‘Andrea,’ a mermaid fountain, for Ghirardelli Square and ‘Aurora’, an origami-inspired abstract work, for the San Francisco waterfront.”
Asawa whose young life was plaque with hardship but held no grudges mentioned this in an interview,  “An artist is not special. An artist is an ordinary person who can take ordinary things and make them special. An artist looks at a juice bottle, an egg carton or a newspaper and sees something valuable in them.”  
Indeed, this would be our sentiment when we view an exhibit and cannot comprehend the hidden meaning behind it.
Is Michelle Batore Camolo, nicknamed “Mich”, a young woman from Itogon, Benguet another Ruth Asawa in the making?
Mich Camolo is one of the artists featured in the Ignite part 2 exhibit at the Baguio Museum.
Amused with the wire sculpture, because you see a lot of wire mesh products in prosperity trees sold at the market,  I asked Mich how she started.
“In  2019, I needed a hobby. I  started with popsicle sticks and ribbons until one day, when I  was walking down Assumption Road, I  saw  wired jewelries. I loved them so much,  but they were  a bit expensive for me.  So, I thought of buying copper wires so I could do wire jewelries for myself. I posted the finished products  on social media and received positive feedbacks. I did this until the  lock down of March 2020. I used GI wires at home and thought of making  a dragon, peacock and  wolf. When Hermie Bruno saw them, he asked me to make a human face. I used my face as model and posted it on Facebook. I again received many positive feedbacks,” she said.
With this new hobby, she was invited to a few collaborative exhibits like atFred’s Gallery, SM Baguio which was initiated by Pasakalye, the Manor by AGI and  the Tam-awan Village. The last is at the Baguio Museum thru the invitation of Hermie.
The young woman has three children, ages,  13, 9, and seven years old. 
She is backed by an undergraduate course in Civil Engineering, a caregiving course, a Chinese language course, vocational health and beauty therapy courses, and small tattoos and nail art courses. 
At the moment, she does  wire arts and crafts, sculptures, thread and wire art on canvas, and painting on mixed media. 
Her inspirations are drawn from life experiences, people, her children and motivation from others. She comes from a family of other artists as her sister is into interior design. 
She uses  GI wires, aluminum wires, and copper wires for her works.