Wire is one of those art supplies that is filled with possibilities. Kids really respond to it and can figure out all kinds of things to do with it. Last week I introduced wire to my 3 and 4 year old art class. We kept it simple since this was our first time using this material and made beaded wire sculptures. Aren’t they just so sweet? Ironically, I haven’t done these with my own kids, but they don’t listen as well as my art students so maybe that’s why. Hmm…not sure what that’s all about. Anyway, you are welcome to give them a go. I’d love to see some pics so please email me or tag me on instagram if you’re inspired.
Here are the materials we used to make our beaded wire sculptures. You don’t have to do yours just like ours of course. This is just a good jumping off point to get your started.
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There are lots of different gauge wire out there. It’s taken me a bit of time to get to know the different kinds and I’m still learning. I really like white floral wire because you can paint it and color it too and it’s just the right gauge for bending.
beads and cut up straws (how cute are these black and white polka dot straws)
wire cutters (or a strong scissor)
sharpies optional (love this glam pack and it’s currently on sale)
We started with a piece of floral wire about 18 inches long. I invited the kids in class to put as many beads on their wire as they wanted. Then we twisted the two edges round each other to create a circle.
After the circle was formed, we cut shorter pieces of wire, about 8-10 inches and twisted one side anywhere on our circle. Definitely some adult help was needed with the twisting and this age group. The kids were again invited to put on as many beads as they wanted. Some kids put a lot, some kids put a few. When they were done beading, we twisted the other side to any spot on the circle.
The concentration was pretty intense, which is always a good sign.
Kids worked for 30-40 minutes repeating step two over and over until they had all the beaded wires they wanted as part of their sculpture.
Steps 3 and 4.
The last steps were to take a sharpie and color any parts of the wire what were exposed and to attach the hook part of a hanger to the top of the sculpture. This part is for an adult. I cut the hook of a hanger off with wire cutters and twisted wire to attach it the sculptures. I kind of realized afterwards that I could have just made a hook from the floral wire and that would work just as well. Spaz alert. Anyway, the hangers look cool too so it’s all good. Just look at this little cutie with her sculpture.
I also love this heart sculpture below made by a six year old in another class. She was super proud of herself. We just attached a ribbon instead of a hook and taped it to the front door.
If you’re digging the whole wire idea, here are two other great options from some great friends of mine.
Art Bar shows you how to make Calder Inspired Wire Sculptures
Babble Dabble Do shows you how to make Wire Sculptures with Wooden Blocks
Both are super cool. Thanks for reading along everyone and happy sculpting. xo Meri
I would love for my granddaughter to be able to experience art with you. How lucky your students are to be allowed such freedom to create.
Thank you so much for your message. It’s so nice. I guess your granddaughter doesn’t live in Los Angeles?
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