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Here's How to Make a Beautifully Exquisite Wire Tree Sculpture

Shashank Nakate Sep 23, 2018
The art of making sculptures with wires was popularized by an American sculptor, Alexander Milne Calder. This creative piece of work is easy to accomplish, and is pursued mostly by people as a hobby. Here are some simple instructions for creating a tree sculpture with wires.
When it comes to wire sculptures, the name of Alexander Calder (1898-1976) often comes up. He is well-known for incorporating his engineering skills for the creation of figurative art and abstract sculptures. Sculptures that are made using wires are easy to craft.
These can be made without incurring any heavy expense. The gear needed includes pliers, wire cutters, mandrels, and a long set of insulation peeled wires.
If you are planning to make a wire sculpture, you first need to decide on which type of wire to use. The wires to be used for sculpting could differ in their characteristics. The ones that have pliability between 20-24 gauge are considered to be the best for sculpting.
Wires made from copper or steel are generally used for this purpose. These are available in large spools in departmental stores. Coat hangers can also be used. However, these hangers are difficult to bend and would require tools such as pliers and wire cutters. One can use needle nose pliers to cut coat hangers.


Beginning with the roots and the stem would be a more appropriate start. The initial structure is started by shaping root and the trunk. The trunk is shaped in a spiral wrap or a zigzag manner.
To make the bottom of the trunk broader than the upper portion nearing the branch, the wires in that area should be loosely spaced. The spiral binding on the mid portion of the trunk gives it an artistic look.

Trunk and Branches

The wires extending outwards can form the branches and the leaves. New pieces like beads and decorative gems or stones can be used as a substitute for the leaves to give it a more stunning look.
The portion used for leaves and branches should be wrapped tightly so that they remain intact. To give a more natural look, the structure may be shaped randomly. New shapes to the branches and roots may be given as an exploration to creativity.


The roots should emerge out of the trunk from the basal part. There is no limit as to how many roots one may draw from the trunk. The roots should be bent in such a manner that they appear to be well spaced. The roots should be wrapped around the basal part of the tree.


The topmost portion of the tree should be made by bending the wires and giving them a curved shape. It should branch out and have a mushroom-like appearance from the top. It is difficult to shape the top portion with the help of a coat hanger. Therefore, it would be best to use small, pliable wires for the top part of the tree.
While making a tree sculpture with wires, wear gloves for protecting your hands. There are attractive models in nature which may be used for crafting an item with a varied shape.