This months bauble has taken some time and has been quite a challenge for me. It doesn't look much but required quite a bit of thought and preparation and was actually remodelled and reshaped a number of times before I finally reached the design I was happy with.. No prepurchased bauble bases involved, this one was all made and formed from scratch using just wire, old vintage music paper sheets, a little air dry clay and some glaze.....
BAUBLE A MONTH CHALLENGE 2012 -
'WIRE FORMED BIRD CAGE'
I wanted to create a wire wrapped bird cage for some time and thought a small bauble would be an ideal opportunity. Two gauges of wire were used, both garden wire purchased from a local hardware store - unless I am creating jewellery, then all my wire for forming artwork, sculpture armatures etc is from this source because it's cheap and I can buy reasonably large spools rather than the small and costly ones marketed purely for crafts. The base is a 15gauge - a thick, slightly difficult to work but once formed holds its shape really well...the thinner wire used for wrapping, spiral work and forming the leaves is a 21 gauge, thin so it can be wrapped tightly and coiled with ease.
Once the cage was formed, this dictated the size of the swing and the bird. He is made out of a tiny bit of air dry clay, then covered over with scraps of vintage music sheet, sanded and inked to age.
The circles of wire forming the cage needed to be anchored securely together at the base and top, so a little bit of wire wrapping in a similar technique used in basket weaving was used. The hanging loop was also incorporated and fixed into this, and also has loops for the swing to be attached. It was fiddly trying to hold all the bits together but I found masking tape and large lumps of plasticine very helpful in anchoring parts down temporarily while I worked.
The tendrils and leaves were formed with one whole length of wire, these forms were then filled in with scraps of the vintage music sheet and glazed over with JudiKins Diamond Glaze. It was draped over and around the bauble base in a very loose and freeform fashion just like a real plant creeper would cover a frame.
Small flowers were then formed from the same music paper (using a tiny paper punch) and glued to the leaf bases (using Pinflair gel glue - great for adhering mixed materials).
Everything had a little ageing treatment using brown inks and some white acrylic paint dry brushed over sparingly...and tiny splash of extra colour added by way of green glazed centres to the flowers.
And, so...the final piece! It was very difficult to photograph, to get all the parts in focus...but I hope it comes across well to you. I'm very happy with how it turned out...and it's been fun doing wirework other than that in jewellery for a change. Yes, it's not very Xmassy in colour...but I never set out to create a collection of Xmas themed baubles...and this one is quite vintagy, suits Autumn as well as Spring and in fact could be hung up as a decoration throughout the whole year.
Hope you like!