Diane, my students are making wire sculpture right now. I've used the same $12 spool of galvanized electric fence wire for a few years plus a couple of summer art camps now (1/4 mile). It may be a regional thing, but I just priced some the other day, and it is about $15 now. Another teacher brings me a big plastic trash can of wood scraps for bases, but our 4 legged creatures don't need them, because the wire supports them. I also provide the same pliers we use for chain maille.
In my experience trying clay on wire, once the clay dries and shrinks, it cracks all over the place, so if she is insistent on clay, it will need something compressible around the wire, like newspaper. I have never attempted to fire anything with a wire armature!
We use masking tape and newspaper, and when I have groups with longer attention spans, we top that with plaster gauze or paper mache. This batch of kids is going straight to the gesso.
I'll try to post some photos this afternoon!
I'll try to figure out how to post photos from my I phone.
--- On Tue, 12/9/08, Diane Davis <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> From: Diane Davis <email@example.com>
> Subject: [teacherartexchange] wire frame for clay?
> To: "TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: Tuesday, December 9, 2008, 8:59 AM
> I have a middle school girl who wants to make a clay horse
> standing, with one foot up.Easy to draw, not so easy to make
> in clay. I suggested she needed a wire frame, as the horses
> legs are so delicate and the weight of the clay so heavy.
> Can she use a coat hanger? Or will it be too brittle in the
> kiln? Is there another way to make something heavy stand up
> on thin legs? Is there an inexpensive wire I can get at home
> Diane Davis
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