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charge of creating a boulder for an Easter production at our church. I
have no clue. Paper mache and chicken wire has been mentioned. Size
would be app eight feet in any direction with maybe a smaller boulder
near it. Any help you can give would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks
Go to a hardware or building supply house and get some 1 1/2" or 2"
black water hose - us farm folks use it a lot. It comes on big wide
rolls about 50 or 100 ft long, the rolls look about 5 or 6 ft diameter.
Get duct tape, too. And some tie wire. Duct tape and baling wire will
Get some high school or college kids, too. They can take the
scratchings up while you supervise. They're young - they'll mend.
Start by messing with the black hose. On a warm day is preferable,
it'll be more flexible. Either way, loop and wrassle the hose around
til you've got an irregular shape. Then bind it in place by lashing it
down with duct tape and baling wire. Add cross-wise chunks of hose til
it starts loking right. More duct tape! The hose will lend all the body
and structure you need. Finally, wrap and smoosh workable sections of
chciken wire onto the hoop frame, smooshing to to keep it natural and
irregular. Use tie wire to lace the chicken wire onto the frame.
For the coating, see if someone will donate you some old ugly
pre-pasted wallpaper. Otherwise, use wallpaper paste and brown paper
bags or newsapaper. Tear it in strips, dip in water, lay on more and
more. This part is tedious - use the kids again! It's more fun at that
I used this method to make a 13-ft piggy bank for a parade float, which
won a top award. Good luck, and send me pictures as you go!
you tell me how you start out?
who creates monumental barbed wire sculptures, wrote:
I have been playing a bit with small wire without welding. It is a
challenge for me. I appreciate your work more and more!
If you would be so kind could you tell me how you start out with the
initial wires? And .... you must add more wire in as you go .. do you
weave the wire in at the end of the wire or do you weave it in at the
middle of the wire.
I do not intend to do anything of your magnitude. i would like to have
some small pieces that I can sell for $100 to $500 for shows and I can
do these when watching TV in the evening.
I am also starting to give classes. I start out with how to comprehend
what one sees that makes a subject look like itself. That is, what
makes a deer a deer and not an elk, etc. When doing this, I want to
have something that they can do without welding, as many do not weld. I
do not plan to become your competition. Because you seem to reach out
to other artists, I thought I could ask you these questions.
If you perfer not to share, I will understand.
I have read your Workshop
pages and you stop where my questions begin.
Thanks for couching your questions so sweetly and diplomatically. While
I don't divulge the finer points of my personal wire technique (like
master chefs, whose pet recipes remain mysterious), I'd love to help
you and your students.
"...you stop where my questions begin."
That is high praise indeed. It means I am successfully teaching in the
tradition of Kenneth Curran. The intent is not to drive you crazy, but
to coach you onward into innovating by the process of creative problem
In your class, when you teach "what one sees that makes a subject look
like itself", you are already showing your students the process of
innovation. They learn to look for obvious differences like antler
structure, and also to look for the subtlety of individual head and
What you are teaching is not how to know everything in an afternoon
workshop, but how to get a solid enough start that they can keep on
exploring after they go home. That's what I teach, too.
For the early efforts, focus on handling the wire and getting the look
and feel of the lines and shapes. Remember how the first time you
picked up a pencil, you doodled and sketched a whole lot before you
tried to make something worth framing? Stopping to worry about making
wirework solid will get in the way of the free artistic flow. Just wing
So the first ones are flimsy? Big deal... Over time, each wirist will
discover a personal way to lock them in shape that gets easier and
easier with practice. Wire can be hooked, looped, twisted, tied,
braided, even glued in place with epoxy. There are no rules -
everything is fair game. Try weaving new pieces of wire in at the end
of the wire, at the middle, or whichever way occurs to you. Does one
way seem to work better than another? Follow that path.
Ken Curran taught us to treasure the creative problem-solving process.
He said, "One problem, properly solved, should leave you with ten brand
new problems. As long as you always have problems to solve, you will
never stop growing and learning."
Hope this helps - let me know how things develop!
I just want to make something cool for my Dad for his birthday. And I
thought about wire and how cool and unique. But I have to keep it small
or I will not finish.
Well, I took a 3-D class and one of our projects was with wire. I
remember something about not mixing different types of wires. Could you
help me? What kinds of wire can you not mix/use together?
Any help would be great!!
And again, awesome! Pegasus
by far is my favorite!!
In wire sculpture, there's only one hard-and-fast rule: DON'T POKE YOUR
Absolutely everything else is fair game...You have a green light - go
ahead an play at mixing any wires you like. It may be a little hard
making it work at first, but you can really get nice results.
I mix big wires with little wires, red wires with yellow wires,
anything I like. I've heard that mixing steel and aluminum wires
together might cause a corrosive effect, so of course I HAD to try it
and see how it looked. That was three years ago, and I"m still
If you like wire a lot, check out my free
Keep having fun, and I hope your dad loves his present.
Hinge Effect - Part 1
you a while ago - mom starting a new craft, etc. - and I've got the
tools, wire, etc and have started to play around with the wire.
Actually, I weaved something for my mother which came out nice. I was
reading you artists statement and you mentioned the "Dread Hinge
Effect". What is that?
Thanks, Jenn B
Glad you're starting to get results!
Sharp of you to ask about the Dread Hinge Effect, which plagued me for
the first few years. Right when I thought a project was coming along
and looking good, it'd get overly kinetic on me. Connections slipping,
swaying and sliding all over.
In accordance with Mr. Curran's creative problem solving technique, I
worked at first defining my problem, then casting about for solutions.
Finally, while wrestling with a particularly uncooperative work, I said
to myself, "It's like the whole dang thing's made out of hinges!" Aha.
I'd identified the Dread Hinge Effect!
There are many, many solutions that can be invented to counter the
Dread Hinge Effect. I call them "Anti-Hinges". Leave a lot of hinges
in, learn to control where and when they operate, and you're carving a
niche in the field of Kinetic Wire Sculpture. Replace a lot of hinges
with Anti-Hinges, and you've got sculpture that holds its shape better.
Have fun exploring the possibilities...
One Wire Sculpture Rule Written in Stone: DON'T PUT YOUR EYE OUT!
you have any questions or comments to add to these, I'd love to hear
them. It'll help me create upcoming workshop sections tailored to
prticipants' interests. Just email
Class Wire Sculpture
· Elizabeth Berrien (707) 445-4931 · email email@example.com
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THE BIG WON
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