Armature Wire as a Modelling Tool

I have been looking for a material which can be used to develop scaled-down furniture designs.  I wanted something tangible that I could handle and manipulate. I wanted something that could be used to easily create a scale model of furniture that I could hold in my hand and easily make modifications.  Many options for modelling a design were available to me, including CAD, hot glue and coffee stirrers, but none of them felt right to me.  Then I discovered armature wire.

What is Armature Wire?

Armature wire is used for modelling.  It is used to provide strength to other materials such as concrete in buildings, or clay in models.  The aluminum wire is easily shapable by hand and is less prone to metal fatigue that other materials (I folded the 1/16″ wire over itself six times in the exact place before it broke).  Six dollars bought me 32 feet of the lightest gauge. Armature wire is round; however, I know that flat aluminum wire is also available and I would like to try that as well.

Day One with Armature Wire

For practice, I created this model of a table base with twisted legs in about five minutes.  I didn’t bother making the twisted aprons as well.

Table with a Twist - WireframeThe exercise of making the table base was fun, but not revolutionary or groundbreaking in the least… until I inverted it.  Suddenly, I had a four-post bed with twisted legs.  Cool!  (Does anybody want to commission me to make such a bed?)

Bed with a Twist - Wireframe

Another Intriguing Option: Taskboard

Another modelling product that I was made aware of is called Taskboard – an ultra-light wood fibre board designed for modelling.  When sprayed with water on both sides, it could be moulded into curves and other shapes.  I found some videos on Taskboard’s website that showed how to use the product and a gallery of models made with Taskboard (the submissions from the 2013 spring semester at Savannah College of Art and Design are impressive!). I am waiting for my local art supply store to get their delivery. Links:

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