Recently I came across two sculptors from Britain who use wire as their sculpture medium – Helen Godfrey and Celia Smith. Both are different from each-other as one seems to use found or recycled wire (electrical and cable wires) and the other one uses Chicken Wire or loose wire. I have a sculpture background. Seeing this wire work had me wondering how I could use it. Naturally I would have to start somewhere. I’ve worked in clay, soapstone and wood. Like many sculptors I’ve used chicken wire for building up the form on the armature. As an art teacher I began to think that it could be a fun project for students – if I could manipulate the wire half as well at these artists.
I cut out my 1st piece of chicken wire a short while ago and began to play. Almost immediately I was into the challenge and determined to win. My past skills of working in three dimensions came back to me like I had not stopped sculpting twenty years ago.
Here is my 1st effort. I used two pieces of 1FT SQ chicken wire and a few pieces of heavy wire and fine wire to add definition to the beak and eyes. It took me over 8 hrs of tweaking.
It took under 6 hours to start and finish my 2nd Wire Bird. It is smaller and made from one piece of 1 FT SQ chicken wire and a heavy and fine gauge galvanized wire. I used two stone beads for the eyes.
I like this little bird sculpture and am going to work on more to play with the process. Decorating the bird with wire and beads may add unique personalities to the birds.