Armatures and Wire


An armature provides the internal foundation on which to build your sculpture. Much like our own human skeletal system is the framework which keeps us standing in an upright position, an armature is used to keep the artist's clay from collapsing, while also protecting the integrity of any outward extensions, such as thin limbs or legs. Truly, the most disheartening experience a clay sculptor can have is to create the ideal form, only to have his project fail due to the lack of a sturdy frame.

 

Although it can be made from a variety of materials, such as wood or steel, the (almaloy) aluminum wire armature is the superior choice due to the following features:

  • non-corrosive
  • lightweight
  • fully pliable
  • non-staining

In addition to the pre-formed armatures, many sculptors choose to construct their own out of armature wire. When selecting this wrapping wire for clay modeling, the artist should look for a wire that is lightweight and strong, yet fully flexible, the key features of armatures themselves.

And don’t forget the wire must be able to withstand corrosion. Why is this important when selecting wrapping wire? Certain polymers and clays do not dry out. Therefore, if the wire is created from a material that has the ability to rust or corrode, the integrity of the sculpture will eventually be compromised.


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