Making statues out of welded mesh

Collected snow

Ah! The bending, wrapping, braiding and twisting. All ways that you can work with wire to create something amazing. There are so many things that you can make with welded mesh and wire!

What is sculptured art?

Art can be made from many things other than the traditional art materials, like paper and paint. Some artists will make detailed sculptures from even the most simple things – such as a wire. A wire is thin, long and very flexible little strands of metal that are usually made from a process of stretching and heating. It comes in a single strand or from several strands that are twisted together. The wire is made from different types of materials like copper, steel, bronze and aluminium and will come in different gauges. I usually just order welded mesh panels and use the excess wire to make art!

The wire has many uses when it comes to art. You can even use it to make sculptured wire art, art that is created from three-dimensional forms and is assembled or shaped from wire and wire type mesh. Using wire in art isn’t new; it is actually thousands of years old. The Egyptians utilised wire and welded mesh to create jewellery. The first artist who brought the wire sculpture in was Mr Alexander Calder. This man went on to create a series of wire sculptures after he used wire to make the jewellery with and was successful. A more contemporary wire artist Elizabeth Berrien. This lady made wire animal sculptures with the techniques that are adapted from certain textile processes like knitting and weaving.

Through the mesh

Tools that you need to make statues out of welded mesh

Mesh is a very versatile material to work with. It can be twisted, tied, braided and wrapped around the other wires, or even woven into the tight or loose mesh. Sculptors use it to create delicate works and even the very large sculptures that can take up the whole room. Welded mesh is popular for making sculptures for outdoor areas.

You don’t need too many materials or anything fancy to make wire sculptures. Still, there are a few basic guidelines that you need to follow. Unless you want to be wrestling with a stiff wire that is very strong, you need to choose a type that is soft and pliable. A good choice is armature wire which is a flexible and soft wire mesh that is used for art purposes. You can get this type of wire in different thicknesses and sizes, and the best thing is it can easily be worked by hand, and you can find it in most hobby stores and art shops.

What tools will I need?

You are going to need some tools to begin with, such as wire cutters and different kinds of pliers, especially long nose pliers. Wire cutters are tools that are short, double-bladed and sharp-edged used for cutting the welded mesh. The pliers work well for pulling, bending and twisting the wire tightly, which is more than you can do with your hands alone. You should have safety glasses on as wire can swing and break, injuring your eyes.

Start with some sketching paper where you can play with some themes and ideas. You can fiddle with some wire to create a three-dimensional sketch of something that can be made into a statue.

YouTube is a great resource for you to find some inspiration and tutorial videos for beginners, to get a grasp on what to do.