This faux bronze ballerina sculpture was inspired by a couple of things:
First, the incredible work of Edgar Degas, specifically his Little Dancer (1880-1881)
Second, the project that my friend and fellow Art teacher, Sandy did
with her middle school students inspired by the unique figurative
work of artist Alberto Giacometti.
My Supply List
sturdy but flexible wire (you can even use wire hangers if necessary)
pliers (needle nose and/or round nose)
black acrylic paint
bronze acrylic paint (craft paints are fine)
water based caulk
circular wooden piece for the base
I had 1/4"x 5/8" staples from my staple gun
small piece of ribbon
hot glue & glue gun
I started by creating a wire armature from some fairly flexible wire purchased at the hardware store.
I used my wire cutters, needle nose pliers and round nose pliers to help cut and form the shapes.
Notice in this picture that I exaggerated the length of the form, especially the legs.
You could probably create the entire form from one piece of wire but mine took two pieces. I created the arms wrapping down into the shape of the upper torso and head. Then I created the long legs that bent into the lower hips and waist and connected the two with masking tape.
Next I took a piece of foil and balled it up to create a tear drop kind of shape that would form the head and part of the neck. I attached it with masking tape.
I continued building pieces of the body with foil, shaping and adjusting and attaching with tape.
The arms and legs were wrapped with long strips of foil that had been folded in half (so they wouldn't tear so easily). The foil on each arm and leg also wrapped onto part of the main body and they were taped securely. Make sure to cover the exposed ends of wire completely.
Just to secure the foil and tape and fill in some of the rough foil texture I coated the entire sculpture in Mod Podge and let it dry completely.
Next I grabbed my paintbrush and painted the entire figure with black acrylic paint and let it dry.
To attach the figure to the round wooden base I used some of my staple gun staples (1/4" x 5/8").
I bent the ends of the legs out about 3/4" and positioned the dancer where I wanted and hammered the staples in over the bent sections of foil covered wire.
To cover the places where the figure was attached to the wood, and to continue the textured look over the whole thing I covered the base with a water based all-purpose caulk. I put it on pretty thick on the top but left the sides bare.
Let it dry completely.
Continue the black acrylic paint down on to the base.
Then using a sponge and the bronze colored acrylic paint sponge on small amounts of paint and wipe them off to give a bronzed look. Work with it until you achieve the desired effect.
I used hot glue to secure it in place and tied the skirt securely and trimmed off the extra ribbon (which could be tied in a bow instead if you wanted).
There is the finished "Faux Bronze Ballerina Sculpture"