Sculpting with just a pair of pliers

Sitting on his bed, bending thin pieces of metal with a pair of German-made pliers as he listens to classical music, Vincent Yancoskie creates a sculpture — out of wire.

Yancoskie says he can make whatever you want and usually does, since almost all of his orders are custom.

“They’ll say, ‘Can you make a piano?’ and then I’ll say, ‘OK, what kind of piano? Do you want any kind of details on it? Do you want any specific features on it?’” Yancoskie said.

The 18-year-old started creating his art pieces three years ago after a friend challenged him to create a surfer out of a piece of wire he was fiddling with. Resistant at first to the idea of creating a figure, Yancoskie said no.

“At first, I was like, ‘I’m really into abstract art,’ but I ended up doing the surfer and everyone liked it,” he said. “That was the first piece I sold.”

Yancoskie sold the sculpture for $15 and has since made about 40 pieces, which he sells for $20 to $200. Each piece takes him about 30 minutes to six hours, depending on the amount of detail and size of the order. Yancoskie recently completed his first international order for a woman in Canada who ordered five pieces—one of which, a motorcycle, is his favorite one he’s made.

“I really like how my motorcycle turned out,” he said. “That was my first international order, so it was fun figuring out how to ship everything.”

His first international customer found his work on his website, which Yancoskie is using to promote his art. He also spent July 11 at the Huntington Beach Pier getting his work and name into the public eye and learning some tips from fellow vendors.

“The pier was a very good experience. I didn’t make my expected profit margin, but I think it was definitely worth it,” he said. “I got to talk to the vendors and learn what customer expectations are like.”

At the pier, Yancoskie displayed finished sculptures, but all the orders he got were custom, so he made the pieces right then and there — something he said doesn’t make him nervous.

Yancoskie started seriously getting into art in middle school and progressed to advanced placement classes in high school, taking painting and drawing his junior year and 3D art his senior year. But Yancoskie said he started drawing when he was a kid and fell in love with realistic art, before he made the switch to abstract in high school.

“I did like realistic art at first, but then I found that I wasn’t very good at it,” he said. “I admire people that do that very well.”

Yancoskie said he still sketches sometimes and took a drawing class at Orange Coast College last year, but his first year at OCC has got him thinking about pursuing a major in computer information systems.

“Besides the financial part of it, I thought I wasn’t quite ready for college . . . I also got to experiment, because I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” Yancoskie said. “Along the way, I would probably like to take some art classes, because I really am into art.”

Yancoskie is looking to transfer to a California State University in the area when he finishes community college. Even though he doesn’t want a career in art, he is still building up his wire art business and said he plans to spend another day at the pier before August ends.

“I do want to do the pier again, and I do know what I would change for next time — a bigger setup, for sure,” he said.

While Yancoskie is still learning about the ins and outs of the art business and has important decisions to make regarding school, his talent for making wire sculptures has made one decision easier — what to get friends and family for gifts.

“It makes me happy. I’ve always liked creating stuff,” he said. “Plus, it also comes in handy for birthdays.”

For more information on Yancoskie, visit