Thursday, 29 October 2015

Making Trees Using Wire for My Mad Hatter Project....

Another method for making trees that I have come across uses wire in lots of different thicknesses. Lots of very good tutorials can be found on my Alice board on Pinterest.
I have been collecting jewellery wire on the advice of Nikki Rowe who used to make the most stunning wire fantasy pieces. The thicker green stems were cut off some old artificial flowers a few years ago and kept because that's what we do, at last I have found a use for them!
 I have started to build up the trunk using the thick green stems by simply twisting the covered wire around a central stem.
 I keep adding to thicken the main trunk.
 As I build up the trunk I start to let some lengths become the upper branches of the tree. Using a thinner wire I have added some extra branches to the upper portion of the tree. 
It is quite a good idea to have a pointed pair of pliers to help with the twisting and adding of wires to save fingers.
 I checked the height and shape in the room box and think this will work once the leaves have been added. I might add some extra branches for shape.
 As this wire was pre-wrapped I have given it a good coating of PVA ready to paint. My plan was to simply paint the wire and see how effective it looks but after being give a few tips by miniaturist Susan Wener of Tabitha Corsica I might add some clay for additional bark effect as I am worried this tree might end up looking like a pineapple tree.
 I have also started some smaller structures using much finer wire.
 This will be a much smaller tree that I will just paint and add leaves. I have not been too worried about adding bases or roots because all the trees will be at the back of the flower beds.
 These armatures will have much finer branches but goodness getting the shape you want certainly takes some time and is painful for your fingers. I have used much more wire than I imagined too so had to trot off to Hobbycraft today for extra supplies of wire and clay.
A lot of the tutorials suggest using Super Sculpey clay but this is very difficult to source where I live and I am not sure it will make much difference to my efforts to be honest. If I decide to try it out I will have to buy it on the Internet, my local Hobbycraft does not stock it unfortunately.
I will have a go with the Fimo though as I think this might be an easy option for the spindly, tall tree trunks. 
My Creative Paperclay trunks have not dried out completely yet but they do not seem to have cracked. Sore fingers crossed!!


  1. The trees are looking good and will no doubt look fantastic with their leaves. Happy wire bending =0)

    1. Ha,ha. I am beginning to feel like Uri Gellar!

  2. El método del alambre,para mi gusto,es uno de los que da resultados más positivos,adelante con tu proyecto!!

  3. Hi Janice.
    I am looking forward to see how this tree will turn out.
    You are getting there.

    1. Thanks Timea. I am having fun playing with all these different methods.

  4. It's a great start! I've used what's called "Durham's Water Putty" -- it's a hardware store item. It's a powder you mix with water and brush on. It hardens and you can scrape/sand, etc. I don't know if you have something similar where you are. :]

    1. Ha, ha. I have just ordered a pot of the putty after reading about it on your blog. You must have read my mind Brae how spooky is that! I think it will be a good way of smoothing off the bigger wire trees that I am not too happy with. Many thanks.

  5. Hi Janice, I don't know if this will be of interest to you, but I coat my trees with plaster of paris, just apply it with your hand, as it begins to harden slightly, you can easily smooth out a great looking tree trunk, and realistic looking branches, that can be sanded smoother, or simply left knotty, then paint to your preference. If you visit my blog, I have a tree stump done in this manner, listed under goth dolls recently. Good luck, can't wait to see your Hatter! Christel

  6. Thanks for the tip Christel, I am still debating over the wire trees I am not sure they really work as big pieces and would look better for the addition of a smoother finish. There are so many methods to try aren't there and I am such a glutton for trying every type I never seem to finish anything! Off to look at your blog now.


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