Wire Sculpture

Grades 5-6

Art 207-05, Group 1

Brieanna Billett, Jeana Morrison, Jacklyn Hunter, Ashley Fraser





1.      Students will learn about the cultural background of wire sculptures.

2.      Students will learn about shape and line by bending the wire to form an object.

3.      Students will also learn about the element texture in creating their sculpture.

4.      Students will learn how to bend and shape wire in order to create a sculpture.

5.      Students will learn how to mount their sculptures on cardboard to allow them to stand up.

6.      Students will compare the different components of 2-D art to 3-D art.


Student Materials:


1.      Modeling wire

2.      Needle nose pliers

3.      4hx3h piece of cardboard


Teacher Materials:


1.      Wire cutters

2.      Staple gun and staples

3.      Slides showing examples

4.      Previous students work

5.      Demonstration materials




1.      Alexander Calder

2.      Caribbean Art

3.      Wire

4.      Sculpture




     Introduction:  Student will learn about the cultural background of wire sculpturing.  Students will discuss the elements of art line, shape, and texture.

1.      Students will watch the teacher demonstration.

2.      Students will be given a piece of wire that is pre-cut.

3.      Students will bend their wire into desired shapes creating the wire sculpture.  Examples are: insects, animals, flowers, picture frames, and candle holders.

4.      Teacher will use a staple gun to attach sculpture to cardboard base.

     Closure:  Teacher will discuss what the students have learned and display the sculptures around the room.


Suggestions and Comments:


1.  This project can be done with grades 5th through 12th.

2.      If there is more time, the students can decorate their cardboard stands with markers, yarn, feathers, or any other textured material.


Cultural Background:


     Wire sculpture that has become popular in North America originated from the Caribbean.  Here, the Weekes make wire figurines in which every detail is intended to portray authentic Caribbean life and culture.  Now wire sculptures are seen in North America everywhere.  The first well-known artist to master the art of wire sculpturing was Alexander Calder.  He was born in Pennsylvania as a third generation artist in 1898.  After tiring of his engineering job he moved to Paris to study a wide array of artists.  He gained a reputation by his performances of his toy wire circus.  His wire sculptures isolated a characteristic he wanted to represent. 




Artful Lesson Plans.  gMultimedia Sculptures.h



5th & 6th Grade



v     During this period a single artwork may show a mixture of stages.

v     Children show in their drawings that they perceive that the sky meets the horizon and that objects can overlap and create new spatial effects.

v     Children are insistent about using representational colors.

v     Children pay more attention to detail in their artwork.

v     Children give more action to figures in their drawings.

v     Gradually the baseline disappears and an emergence of the horizon becomes apparent.

v     Children start to draw shadowing and shading in their pictures.

v     Children show depth through diminishing sizes and overlapping.

v     If children are going to continue in their artwork, they need to learn realistic drawing skills or they will be frustrated and they may stop drawing altogether.