How to Make Wire Sculptures

Here's what you need to know if you're learning how to make wire sculptures. Wire is flexible and gives a certain look that can't be replicated with a different material. Wire is also much less messy to work with than clay and can be quite a bit cheaper as well.

If you're just getting started in wire sculptures, you probably won't want to shell out a whole lot of money for materials. Consider baling wire, which you can find at just about any hardware or home store. You should also buy your tools, if you don't have them; a pair of pliers (needle nose work best for small places) and wire cutters.

Many sculptors who work with wire choose to wear gloves to protect their hands. Thinner gloves work better than thicker gloves, allowing you to feel what you're doing and to move the wire more accurately.

Before you begin, make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to sculpt, whether it's in your head or you make a drawing. This will help you when it comes time to create your vision. To get pieces of wire to adhere to each other, try using the needle nose pliers to turn the ends into tiny j's, or hooks, and hook them together.

Depending on what you're making, you may want to create the base, or outline first. For example, if you're starting small and just making a simple, flat shape, make the outline with a piece of wire and then use more wire to make the middle. This will help you get used to working with wire. You can use different methods to create the body of your sculpture; wrapping, balling and criss-crossing.

If you feel especially creative, feel free to work additional materials into your wire sculptures. You may want to use an inanimate object as the center of the sculpture, or cover the entire thing in papier mache, or simply paint the wire when it's complete. The beauty of wire sculpture is in its freedom.

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