In the wonderful book Crafty Birds: Bird Art & Crafts for Mixed-Media Artists, author Kristy Conlin and contributors offer ideas and projects for collage, jewelry, and mixed-media art.
|Two Birds on a Branch wire assemblage display
by Jennifer Swift, from Crafty Birds.
Bridging the jewelry and assemblage sculpture categories is this charming display piece by Jennifer Swift. (I love the fact that she has a bird name.)
Inspired by depictions of birds in her mother’s teaching supplies from the 1950s, Jennifer created this display to hold jewelry. But you could also hang it in your kitchen to hold potholders and utensils.
Her technique for creating this assemblage art piece primarily involves bending, twisting, and shaping wire into bird forms, loops, and hooks.
Here is the materials list for making and attaching the birds, plus the technique for shaping the birds.
Two Birds on a Branch – Bird How-to
- Birch branch, approximately 23″ (58cm) long
- Dark annealed steel wire, 16-gauge
- Needle-nose pliers
- Wire cutters
|Three steps to shaping wire into birds, by Jennifer Swift.|
1. Working from the spool of wire, use pliers to bend 16-gauge wire 5″-6″ (13cm -15cm) from the cut end to form a beak. Shape the head and back of the bird with your hands and then make a U-shape for the tail. Bring the wire to the cut end again to form the rest of the bird’s body.
2. At the bottom of the bird, bend the wire up and shape one wing.
3. After shaping the wing, return to the bottom of the bird and twist the ends together several times. Cut the wire, leaving 5″-6″ (13cm-15cm) excess to attach the bird to the wood scrap. Twist the tail once. The finished bird should measure approximately 9″ × 10½” (23cm × 27cm).
Directions for the entire project, plus many more bird-themed mixed-media assemblages, collages, and jewelry projects are waiting for you in Crafty Birds.
You can get this book plus an entire flock of bird-themed art instruction and supplies for a great price in our Put a Bird on It Ultimate Collection, available for a limited time.
P.S. What other uses might you find for these wire birds? Leave your ideas below.