How to Make Chicken Wire Sculptures
Chicken wire, also known as poultry netting, is used to fence in areas where chickens roam. The netting keeps them in a designated area and safe from predators. Although chicken wire has practical purposes, it can also be used in art. Chicken wire bends easily and can be molded into shape to create a sculpture. The end sculpture will have an ethereal, see-through look created using the metal netting. Create any 3-D sculpture with chicken wire, whether a human shape or the three-dimensional representation of a cartoon character or animal.
Things You'll Need
- Reference photo
- Protective gloves
- Protective clothing
- Chicken wire
- Wire cutters
Print out a reference photo for the shape you want to create. If you want to make a chicken wire sculpture of a shark, cat or howling wolf, print out a picture of the animal. Keep the picture next to you as you work with the chicken wire so you can use it for a reference.
Put on thick, protective gloves. The ends of chicken wire are sharp and can cut you if you're not careful. Wear a long-sleeved shirt or jacket to protect your arms as well.
Cut out a piece of chicken wire, using wire cutters. The size of the piece depends on the size of your completed sculpture. Choose a large enough piece that can completely cover at least one whole side of your sculpture.
Bend the chicken wire with your hands, molding it into the shape you want to create. Chicken wire is malleable and will stay in the shape you choose. Consult your reference photo as you bend the chicken wire to ensure that you're making the shape that you wanted to create.
Wrap the ends of a new piece of chicken wire around the first piece of chicken wire. This will secure the pieces together. Keep bending and molding the chicken wire and adding new pieces until you are satisfied with the shape. Overlap pieces of chicken wire over other pieces to create a thicker chicken-wire shape that looks more opaque rather than see-through.
Wrap loose ends of chicken wire around the wire mesh of other sheets of wire within the structure your sculpture. Clip off loose ends that can't be wrapped around other wire. This will limit sharp edges on the sculpture so the result is safer to handle.
- Although not required, you can wrap your finished chicken wire sculpture in papier-mâché for a solid sculpture.
- If your chicken wire pieces feel loose, wrap short pieces around the wire to attach them together, strengthening your sculpture.
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