Wire Structure

From a list of words related to wire, I was assigned to choose one and interpret it how I wanted and to make a wire sculpture based on my interpretation. At first I struggled with how to associate the words with something to actually make from wire. I played around with several different words and how I could represent each one, as seen in my preliminary sketches. As I experimented more, I liked how the wire could be manipulated in such a way that it looks and feels very delicate although metal is typically seen as very strong and stiff. I decided to base my sculpture on the word “span”, but “loose” also fits with it.

I thought of an octopus and how they can span and shrink over surfaces, whether it be on the ocean floor, or on glass tank walls. I knew I wanted to somehow portray an octopus, so I began by experimenting with several types of wire to choose which one I wanted to use. I made an outline of an octopus with aluminum wire but it seemed too thick and not delicate enough to represent an octopus and all of the intricate detail in their tentacles. I made another frame out of thin annealed dark wire but I realized I did not like how the frames were shaped and wouldn’t stay in the shape I wanted. I decided to make each tentacle from a singular piece of wire and bind them together with loose ties so they could freely move alongside one another, playing on the word “loose”. I folded a wire and twisted it to make it stronger so I could make the curve of each tentacle, then worked my way down to the tip by twisting and curling the wire into loops to make the small suckers for each tentacle. I added “shading” to the head to differentiate the head and the tentacles and also adding more weight to it, along with the different line weights.

During critique it was also mentioned how when one picks up my piece the tentacles all move in a chain reaction with one another, along with how it is loose and delicate like how an actual octopus would move and feel. To improve my piece I think it would be beneficial to have it hang so the tentacles could continue moving suspended in air, but I do like the fact that people can interact with the piece if laid on a flat surface. Also I would continue to add varying line weight to the head of the octopus to balance out with the tentacles. I also think a white or light background makes the sculpture stronger because the line work and detail is more visible against lighter colors.

Preliminary Sketching

Original Sketch of the Octopus Concept

Exploration of Octopus Idea

Aluminium Frame

Second Frame

Final Piece

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