Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wire Bird Sculptures

I found this lesson at Stuck in the Mud Pottery and really wanted to try it out with one of my classes.  Here is a link to her original lesson:

Here is my teacher sample:

And here are the wire bird sculptures before we had to chance to add the soda can feathers:

      I decided to tackle this project with my 5th grade students because they are a very creative group of kids.  I think they did really well with the form for their birds so far.  Basically, I told them to create a "yarn ball" with their wire; a large one for the body & a small one for the head.  Next, I showed them how to attach the head to the body, add legs, a tail, and a beak by bending the wire.  The legs attach best if you feed them through the body, having them actually attach to the top of the back.  This seems to give it more strength.  I have an endless supply of these cedar blocks, so I poked holes through the wood, added hot glue, and stuck the ends of the wire through the holes.

     Next class period, I will have the students finish the birds by adding colorful soda can feathers.  I had the aluminum pre-cut for the students so all they have to do is cut out some large tear-drop shapes for the feathers.  I found that some of the aluminum can simply be bent into shape without the use of hot glue.  However, most of the feathers and details will have to be added with a glue gun.  I have 2 in my classroom and I do the majority of the gluing and I use a good amount of discretion before letting the students use the hot glue gun by themselves. 

     I will post pictures next week of some finished pieces (hopefully). 


  1. Very cool project. Stuck in the Mud did it with her 9th graders so your 5th graders must be really good artists!Looking forward to your finished birds!

  2. Look forward to seeing the finished birds. I remember seeing the 9th graders' work and loving it, too!!

  3. Great fun. I'll be following you with great interest - love what you're doing! I'd love you to visit me at Dream Painters :)

  4. What type of wire did you use for these sculptures? I'd like to try this with my grade 5/6s, but I need wire that's quite easy to bend. Thanks! :)

  5. What type of wire did you use for these sculptures? I'd like to try this with my grade 5/6s, but I need wire that's easy to bend. Thanks! :)

  6. Very cool, although I actually like them better before the covering!