Wire Sculpture

Sculpting with wire can be very rewarding. Alexander Calder was an American artist that had a large impact on the art world with his use of wire art. His work has inspired many to use this widely available material to create elaborate artworks.

For this assignment, I will supply some basic materials (marked with *), however you may want to bring in better quality materials from home. For the assignment you will need:

  • pencil
  • sketchbook
  • wire (thickness depends on your design)*
  • needle nose pliers (optional, but recommended
  • wire cutters (optional)
  • gloves (optional)
  • block of wood for a base*
  • sandpaper*
  • TSP (optional)
  • wood stain (optional)
  • drill + small drill bit (optional)*
  • access to a device*
  • a camera
  • an Adobe account (free)
  • photo backdrop*

We have discussed the idea of contour drawings in class, and this is the basis for creating your wire sculpture. Contour drawings are the aesthetic goal, but we will be using continuous line drawings which are slightly different.

TED Talks

To decide a theme for your work watch one of the following videos, and write down 10 things that you find interesting about it.

Students will be required to submit:

  • a sketch page of 10 ideas based on a TED Talk video
  • a refined drawing of 2 favourite ideas
  • a drawing made to scale of the student's favourite idea
  • a flat, wire sculpture identical to student's prepared rough work attached to a wooden base
  • 5 pictures of student's process
  • written explanation
  • three point "what I learned"
  • final photograph of sculpture with backdrop
  • companion photograph of final rough drawing, alongside final sculpture
  • an Adobe Spark page (link below)
  • Spark link pasted to Google Classroom Submission Table

The finished product will be due WEDNESDAY MAY 10TH.

A seven day work schedule might look something like this:

  • Day 1: Watch TED Talks, and write down ten ideas from it, create two idea drawings in contour
  • Day 2: Discuss two ideas with teacher, create a life-size pen drawing of best idea
  • Day 3: Cut wire to length using string, start bending wire to make your image
  • Day 4: Finish bending your wire
  • Day 5: Sand your wooden base using rough, then fine sandpaper, stain your wood
  • Day 6: Finish bending, staining, collecting pictures, etc.
  • Day 7: *IN LIBRARY* Create an Adobe Spark page about your artwork

This project idea was inspired by the work of Gavin Worth. With hard work, attempt to make your sculpture look as polished, and gallery ready as his. Simple products require thoughtful ideas!


Created with images by AwakeningParish - "Modified Contour Hands" • jurvetson - "Steve / Dame Stephanie Shirley. I like her spunk. And don’t call me Shirley =)" • C. VanHook (vanhookc) - "Super Talented Youth!"

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.