Faithful, Friendly, and Fluffy, Emma Beier

The Process:

The Final Product:

          When I was six years old, my dog, Sukie, was given to me as a gift. I’m an only child, so getting a dog was a huge deal. My dog and I have always been incredibly compatible. She’s more than happy to sleep by my feet while I’m doing homework and always showers me with love when I’ve had a bad day. Since we first brought her home, she’s had the same collar, although now it’s very dirty. Her collar has become symbolic of her personality and reminds me of all the amazing times we’ve spent together. When presented with the wire sculpture project, my immediate thought was to recreate Sukie’s collar. I snapped photos of my dog wearing the collar to examine how the material appeared on her neck. I also had to decide how large I wanted my sculpture to be. In the end, I determined that a smaller scale was better to indicate my dog’s innocent and kind personality. I then drew a sketch of her collar and began sculpting.

          Although I quickly determined what I wanted to sculpt, I had no idea where to start. Eventually I resolved to experiment with different techniques. Though the first few attempts were not successful, the third gave me the result I hoped for. Previous to this project, I would have been too afraid of making a mistake to sample different procedures. However, now I feel excited about exploring all possibilities. I started by hand-straightening a thick silver wire. I then secured the wire vertically into a clamp and wound a thin silver wire tightly around it. Once doing so, I wrapped another thin silver wire loosely around the other two wires to make the sculpture appear more rounded, similar to Sukie’s collar. This was the basic form of the collar. Reflecting now, I recognize that I should have payed more attention to the appearance of the collar when worn by Sukie. Currently, the collar appears stiff, inaccurate to its true form. Next, I cut a small square from a flat sheet of Aluminum. From this square, I cut a cross, serving as Sukie’s dog tag. Then, using a hammer and a nail, I created a small hole near the top of the cross. After that, I looped a thin bronze wire through the hole and twisted the wire until it was tightly wound. I then hammered the cross to make it appear more realistic. From there, I bent a thick silver wire around the collar until it had created a circle. I then looped the opposite end of the wire attached to the dog tag through this circle, securing the dog tag to the collar. Lastly, I created the collar’s clasp. I tried many ideas, however, the majority did not work. Eventually I looped a wire to create a circle on one end of the collar and then hooked a wire of the opposite end through this hole.

          Because this was my first experience with wire, I changed materials often to explore their functions. Although it was interesting to sample these tools, I never developed a level of comfort with a specific material. This created difficulty for me later, as I struggled to form certain shapes due to my lack of security with using specific tools. If I was able to approach this project again, I would try to find a material that I could become skilled with. Additionally, during the project, I often became frustrated with myself and felt disappointed with my work. I have now come to the realization that I should appreciate my work and recognize my mistakes as learning experiences. In the future, I hope to continue to develop this growth mindset. #furry friend #dog lover #loyalty #love #best companion #dog collar #wire sculpture

Stop Motion Short of Wire Sculpture: