How To Make Small Wire Armatures for Sculpture Projects

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.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Janet Vanderhoof

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

    1. 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.

  2. Gloria Levings

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

    1. Janice Tanton

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

  3. 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.

    1. 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!

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