A Place to Enhance and Inspire to be CR8TiV !

Wire Armature Sculpture using Polymer Clay

on June 4, 2013


Above is my recently completed sculpture of everyone’s favorite Hero … Mario ! This is my 1st wire armature sculpture. I’ve made sculptures before but never with a wire armature or any frame to start. I’ve made sculptures from Air-Dry clay being 100% pure clay and the end result was that the sculpture was heavy, had cracks, and fragile/brittle. But this sculpture was made using a wire armature made of 16 gauge galvanized wire and heavy duty aluminum foil. There are videos on YouTube that teach you how to make and bend the wire for a wire armature.

There are some tools you will need while you’re at the hardware store buying the galvanized wire. While you’re at the hardware store pick up ….

[] A pair of pliers – both Needle nose and Blunt nose

[] Wire cutters that are strong enough to cut through galvanized wire “Some Blunt nose pliers have wire cutters on them”

[] Workman’s Glove *Optional* The wires has a chemical known to cause cancer and reproductive harm. But you can just wash your hands afterwards.

A few other things you’ll need but can be found at a your local craft store is a wood board to display your sculpture on and some paint to hand paint any finishing touches and to paint the wood board. I found some mini pliers @ Walmart for under $2 each and they have decorative wood boards for signs and plaques that look great for displaying your sculpture on. Also their mini bottles of Apple Barrel paints are like .57¢ to .97­¢ and their FolkArt paints are about $1-2 dollars. I think that’s the cheapest price you can find these paints.

Now another MUST HAVE when making a wire armature sculpture that I learned was important was to have a Photo, Print-Out, or a WiFi device such as iPad, Laptop, or Smart Phone to look up images of the sculpture you’re trying to make. I made my Mario sculpture from pure visual memory and found a few things in my sculpture that wasn’t accurate or perfect. One of them being the height of Mario and his body size. Apparently Mario is very short and fat. He does not have a waist or upper torso like my sculpture does. Mario is just a plump round ball with arms and legs. Maybe my sculpture might of been better as Luigi instead.

But this was my very 1st wire armature sculpture so I will get better after several attempts. Now about the clay I used 1 lbs. of Sculpey III white clay underneath for the beginning layers and with the help of a AMACO Clay pasta machine I made sheets of clay on setting 8 then 6. After several layers of the white I then added the colored polymer clay.  Buy and use the 2oz. blocks of colored polymer clay. I originally used the blocks that come from the 30 pc. Sculpey III sample pack and the colors aren’t labeled on those 1oz. blocks so I started using a blue from the sample pack but ran out. I went to the craft store to buy more blue but the blue I bought from the craft store was a different blue than what I had used from the sample pack. (>~<) D’Oh !! Luckily the 2oz. of blue polymer clay I bought was enough to cover up the wrong color.

Now be sure that when you layer on your clay that you press out any air bubbles with your fingers bcuz any air trapped in the clay will cause your clay the crack during the baking process. On my Mario he has a small crack running down his belly which means I didn’t press out enough air and the clay wasn’t tightly molded together allowing the air bubble to escape during baking and cracking the clay. The final stage was hand-painting and hand-painting clay is never an easy task. It’s always a pain in the butt !! (>3<)

IMG_1660Mario’s head was all completely hand-painted. Except for his Mustache which I made using some small leftover black clay. But his skin, eyes, hair, and eyebrows were all hand-painted. ( ‘ ~ ‘ ) I originally painted his eyebrows brown then saw on one of my Mario Tshirts that his eyebrows are black. Hmm … do you think Mario dyes his hair ? He’s got brown hair but black eyebrows and black mustache ? Anyways I had to paint over and over bcuz while painting on part the color would get on places I didn’t want it to. So I had to paint over many times to cover up the boo boos.

Overall I think for a 1st time wire armature sculpture it’s not too bad. Thinking maybe next I’ll make an animal maybe try making a sculpture of my dog “Leila” or make another one of my Favorite characters like Pikachu or Rainbow Dash ? Either way making a wire armature sculpture is pretty easy and the results are wonderful for a gift or just to decorate your bachelor pad, dorm, or game room.

B3 B0LD … B3 iNSPIR3D … B3 CR8TiV … MYT CR8TiV™.



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