Wire art has become an important form of art throughout Africa and has also been well commercialised in the last decades. The Ethnographic Museum of the University of Zurich has acquired a collection of 250 wire models from Burundi of the 1970s. This collection is believed to be very authentic evidence for the pre-commercialised phase and therefore highly relevant. A number of authors have written about wire art and its origins and many of them suggest that what may look like an utterly creative form of recycling in the first place is actually a distinct genre of art and craft with its own standards. The focus of our research around that collection, is to enrich the scientific discourse with in-depth analyses of those standards as opposed to simply claiming their existence.