Here, I’m going to teach you how to make small wire sculp­ture arma­tures that you can use for sculp­ture, stop motion ani­ma­tion, school projects or just to cre­ate fun, pos­able figures.

Pos­sess­ing a  num­ber of dif­fer­ent tools and skills in your bag as an artist allows you to find dif­fer­ent forms of expres­sion for your ideas. One of the things I love doing is to cre­ate sculp­tural works.

In order to have a strong and expres­sive sculp­ture, the “bones” of a good arma­ture are nec­es­sary. Here are the instruc­tions and mate­r­ial require­ments to how make small (approx 8–9″) arma­tures for the human form.


1/16″ gauge alu­minum sculp­ture wire — 1 piece — 44″ long and 1 piece 5″ long.

Enjoy! Let me know what you make. I’d be thrilled to share pho­tos of your work here on the blog, so please send them to me.

  • Janet Van­der­hoof

    Looks fun, would love to see clay applied on them as well. Can you paint them?

    • Jan­ice Tanton

      I’ll try to do a follow-up with the clay appli­ca­tion. For these, I use Cha­vant oil-based clay so that they can be cast at a later time. I can also leave the sculp­ture forever.…and go back and work on it, because the clay doesn’t dry out.

      I sup­pose that you could use some clay that dries and then paint them, but I haven’t ever done that.

      One of the neat­est things is to make a pile of them, and then spend some time putting them all together in dif­fer­ent poses. They’re quite inter­est­ing, just in their wire forms.

  • Glo­ria Levings

    where can we find the fol­low up on adding the clay? thanks

    • Jan­ice Tanton

      Hi Glo­ria — Sorry, I haven’t done that. Really, this is where your own artis­tic choices come in! :)

  • Zach

    When you say the length of the human form is “about there” can you please pro­vide some mea­sure­ments of where you make the dif­fer­ent folds? Thanks.

    • Jan­ice Tanton

      Hi Zach, Thanks for your com­ment. There are a num­ber of sites that show you the pro­por­tions of the human body. I would encour­age you to learn more about this, rather than pro­vid­ing exact mea­sure­ments for the length, etc. The artis­tic process then allows you to be cre­ative, based on the “aver­age” pro­por­tions for the human body. You can build your arma­tures accord­ing to your own artis­tic vision — elon­gat­ing and short­en­ing where needed. Have a won­der­ful day!