I recently finished a new wire sculpture and decided to do a step-by-step photo session of it to show how these come together from a big spool of wire to finished sculpture.
For this project, I used 17 gauge steel fencing wire, as pictured below.
These are my tools for this project, as well as my bare hands.
And this is how this particular sculpture started out – as a sort of creepy, two-legged, skeletal horse.
Once this basic start was in place, I began to construct the remaining two legs. To do this, I started by making a tight coil (think of a burner on a stove); this will be the bottom of the hoof. I cut a length of several feet of wire for this so I have plenty to build with.
Here is the coiled hoof.
Side view of the hoof.
I then shape the wire extending from the hoof to resemble the shape of the horse’s leg. In this case, the two legs yet to be connected are going to be bent as the horse is in motion. Below is the back leg.
Here is the front leg. While working on sculptures, I frequently like to hold all the pieces together to make sure the proportions and angles are looking right. The front leg is not yet attached in the picture below, just resting in the right place.
The leg now attached. Notice there is also more bulk in the body of the horse as well.
The horse is all in one piece at last, and does stand independently, but is not very stable.
A photo of the other side.
At this point, now that the horse has all his legs, it is time to begin bulking up the body so he doesn’t look quite so creepy and bony. 🙂
Notice the addition of ears now, as well.
This is where the sculpture gets really fun. It’s embellishment time! After sorting through my collection of junk, metal bits, and jewelry, I decided to go with chain for the tail. I took a necklace chain and broke it into pieces with my pliers in various lengths like so.
I then fastened them all together on a necklace clasp (from the same necklace – no link or loop of chain is garbage! 😉 ). After that, I simply attached this clasp to a wire on the horse’s hind end. After that, I used fine wire to attach it firmly in place so it wouldn’t slide around. I also used wire to give the tail a bit of lift. This is a spirited horse, after all. Here is a progress shot of the tail.
And the finished tail.
Next, the mane. I love to think outside the box with features like a horse’s mane. This time, I decided on an earring I had in my collection. It has been waiting for the right project for quite a while, and I am happy to have used it at last.
No peeking! I’ll show the finale on the mane soon enough. 🙂
Finally, I decided to use a base for this for additional stability. This is a metal found object in my collection.
Using a metallic paint…
I cheered it up a bit.
And then, using my handy-dandy acrylic gel…
…as glue, (this stuff is amazing!), I attached the front hoof to the base. I may need to wire it for added stability, but it’s not too bad as is.
And here we are, at long last, with the grand finale.
– 8 1/2 inches long x 7 inches tall x 2 inches wide.
– Made with 17 gauge steel fencing wire, fine craft wire, and found objects.
– I spent 5 – 8 hours on this I’d guess.
A few various angles and close-ups.
Update: (two years later)
Unfortunately, the base for the foot did not hold out in the long run, so I had to come up with a new approach to attaching a different base that would hold permanently. The product used was JB Weld, and though it changed the look of the sculpture a little bit, at least it is extremely sturdy and sound. The updated photos are below. I’ve also learned a thing or two about photographing sculptures, too. 🙂