Of all the creatures on the planet, perhaps no other has inspired us quite like birds; they are strong, light, beautiful, and have the freedom to go anywhere they want to go. Birds have long inspired artist Tom Hill’s mixed media sculptures made of carved wood, forged copper, and steel. The birds that he builds are characterizations of real species like owls and and black birds, capturing their natural personalities in a playful, even cartoonish way. He gives them big, rounded and expressive eyes, delicate feathers spun out of hardy wires, and long, spindly legs. “I tend to think of all my pieces as character studies. Spend a few seconds observing a bird; the turn of the head, the flash of an eye, puffed up feathers; each gesture conveys a wealth of visual material for the artist as we see the bird consider and interact intelligently with the world around it,” he says.