How to Make a Wire Sculpture (part 1)

On today’s DIY list, we’re making wire sculptures! I’m demonstrating how I do this on a large scale, but you can try the same thing for tiny sculptures, too!

I started making wire sculptural pieces for a photo series, so my plan to use this wire is ultimately to be photographed. The next part of the DIY will go through how to finish the piece and photograph it.

MATERIALS LIST:
Chicken Wire
Gardening Gloves
Wire Cutters
Pliers

I use chicken wire because it is malleable but strong. It can be cumbersome to work with but once you get the hang of it, it molds into shape.

Step 1: Separate the edges of the wire from the roll.

Step 2: Bend the sharp edges inward for safe handling using either your gloved hands or pliers.

Step 3: Roll out the wire. As you go, bend it backward so that it doesn’t curl in on itself.

Step 4: Cut the wire away from the roll when it reaches your desired length.

Step 5: Bend the newly sharp edges inward for safety.

Step 6: Start bending the wire into the shape you want, hooking the wire to itself via the cut edges to hold it in place.

Step 7: Finalize the shape and admire your handy work!

My sculpture doesn’t look like much, but that is because it is only half finished and is meant to be extremely abstract. Remember, you can sculpt anything from abstract creations to little animals and more!

In the next blog about wire sculpting, I will show you how you can coat your sculpture to finish it. Here are two options:

Paper mache is a great choice for coating your wire sculpture. It can be done with newspaper and glue, or you can get the heavy duty stuff for things like body casting. Either way, this technique can be done simply and is great to utilize if you plan on painting it.

Because of the nature of my sculpture, I’ll probably opt for using spray foam. My final sculpture will be covered in mushrooms, and I want to keep the organic flow of it alive.

I hope this was helpful, and I can’t wait to see what wire sculptures you make!

Please share below if you have an idea,
tips for wire sculpting, or if you finish a piece!

I’ll be back soon with Part 2 of “How to Make a Wire Sculpture”!

  • January 26, 2020 - 8:06 pm

    Gallagher Green - I need to start checking your blog more, I missed this.

    once used a similar method for the background in a vivarium, but instead of chicken wire, I used “egg create” pannels for overhead lights since it was going on a flat wall of a tank.
    After the spray foam, I roughed up the surface so it no longer was glossy and carved it into rock shapes. Then I used grout, apply it about 1/4″ thick (more or less) molding it into the rock shapes you want adding the lines with a butter knife. Then once the grout is just stuff (dry) enough to stand the sculpture up a bit, (but not so far that the grout falls off) spray it with a heavy mist from a spray bottle. The water will smooth it to a natural rock look and the little bit of water runoff will give the rock a very natural weathered look.
    You want to be careful because grout is concrete, and it gets heavy very quickly, so make sure your structure/frame can hold it up.
    I also know a great way to thin down silicone to make it paintable and mix it to look just like dirt. If anyone wants to try it just say so and I will post the directions.

    Can’t wait for part two of this.ReplyCancel

  • February 22, 2020 - 2:17 am

    Nancie Green - HAIR CAN BE A MASK TOO!

    Brooke, you are a new discovery for me …in the last few weeks I have become aware of your work and I am fascinated with your style, your methods and your ability to share so beautifully.

    The Mask challenge is the first one I have joined and it comes at a very opportune time (as did discovering you).

    I have always photographed people but candidly. Recently I decided that needed to change but I was incredibly nervous about approaching anyone to model. In a strange (somewhat serendipitous) way I decided that the least frightening thing to do would be self-portraits …this is before I discovered you (thus the serendipity).

    While initially this seemed like a great idea I had forgotten (for a moment) that I’m 68 years old and showing every second of those years! Plus I hate being photographed! In the end none of that stopped me, I plowed forward. The best shots from that day where the ones where I used my own hair as a mask, enabling me to hide the ravages of time but still capture my essence.

    Not long after that day I discovered your work and began investigating your process …I was enthralled! Since then I have found the courage to do photo sessions with a few friends and have plans to do more. I believe this bravado is (in part) due to you!

    Thank you for sharing and inspiring, I will continue to expand my horizons and work on conquering my fears and doubts …you are a wonderful guide.

    @ntgreen39ReplyCancel

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