Back in March we delivered a really enjoyable day creating Wire Sculptures. The day was led by Liz Wellby, an experienced artist and maker from the Peak District. Liz has been teaching and creating artwork for over 25 years having completed a Fine Art degree in Sculpture at Loughborough University in 1990. She creates a range of work in different media including printworks, digital drawings and paintings. More recently, Liz has been producing a range of bird and animal sculptures; they may be small enough to hold in your hand, but this doesn't stop her capturing their personality and animation.
The principles of making the sculptures were explained and demonstrated, with the necessary skills gradually developed. By the end of the morning, as well as having learnt a range of new skills, everyone had produced their own small scale wire sculptures of different types, including: kingfishers, chickens, geese, swans, pheasants and various types of garden bird. The group worked very well and produced some excellent outcomes.
Unlike with some creative processes the equipment needed is minimal and low cost, with nothing that a trip to Robert Dyas won't solve, if your tool box doesn't contain a small pair of pliers and wire cutters. A fine, flexible wire is necessary to suit the scale of the birds.
A scale drawing of your chosen bird provides a helpful template to start working from. If this is something that you find difficult to achieve, it is possible to use a small photograph. It is important that your bird has a strong profile showing the head, body and wings.
Starting with the beak, a long piece of wire is carefully shaped to the outer edge of the drawing, using a combination of fingers and the pliers; the ends are then carefully twisted to secure the shape. This is quite fragile, so it's best to avoid distorting the shape. Working from the top of the body, twist a smaller length of wire to the outline and cross the body; repeat this process weaving lengths of wire across the basic shape and securing these by twisting onto the outline wire shape. Further weaving and interweaving will fill the space and ensure that the main body becomes rigid as you do so.
This sculptural process is clean and direct, and you can realise a creative outcome in a relatively short period of time. You can create interesting and often dynamic three dimensional outcomes that have their own personalities. So why not join us on one of our workshops , the next one being on Thursday 20th June this year - see http://www.bloomingdesigns.com/wire-sculptures.html