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Project #187

Time: 2-3 Class Periods
Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced
Cleanup: Soap & Water

Project Kit (see Products Used below steps)
Wire Cutters
Paint Brushes
Acrylic Paints

Materials needed if not using Project Kit:
Air-Dry Clay
16-Gauge and 20-Gauge Wire
Wooden Plaques
Wire Cutters
Paint Brushes
Acrylic Paints
View Project Video

Create a shadow sculpture with wire and air-dry clay! This project also has an instructional video available!

Click here to print a PDF of this project


  • Step 1
    Bend a 24" length of 16-gauge dark annealed wire in half. Leave a 1-1/2" loop at the top for the head and neck. Hold the loop and use pliers to twist about 4" to form the body of the armature.

  • Step 2
    Bend a 20" length of 16-gauge wire in half and wrap it around the first piece to create arms.

  • Step 3
    Cut a 20" length of thinner, 20-gauge wire and wrap it around the arms, trim off any excess. Cut a 24" length of 20-gauge wire and wrap the legs. The wrapped wire allows the clay to attach better to the armature. Decide where you want to place the legs and drill holes in a wood base. Mix together some fast-setting epoxy and glue the legs into the base.
  • Step 4
    Use air-dry clay to sculpt over the armature. Try to sculpt what you think the shadow of the figure would look like. Since the clay is air-dry, the hardening process starts as soon as the package is open. The sculpture will be completely dry in about 24 hours.

  • Step 5
    Once the clay has set, paint with acrylic. For a bronze-like finish, use Magic Metallic Steel paint and Rapid Rust patina. For a more economical alternative, use your favorite acrylic paints.

Products Used