Artists and sculptors rely on premium wire to create intimate wire sculptures and sturdy armatures for ceramics, plaster, and paper sculpture. Most of this wire is aluminum, a lightweight metal known for its flexibility and malleability; copper is a little sturdier but also malleable. Both are rustproof and work well indoors or out. Use hands or needle-nose pliers to model forms with the wire, or mold clay, paper, or other materials on top of it. This wire is great not only for sculptures and assemblages, but also, in finer gauges, for jewelry and beadwork. See our picks of your best options below.
1. Zelarman Aluminum Craft Wire
Artists who need a heavy, high-performance sculptural wire should consider this wire from Zelarman. At 3 millimeters (about 8 gauge), the aluminum wire is thick yet flexible, uncoiling straight and without kinks. Manipulate it with your hands or pliers for precise forms that maintain their shape. Beautiful and durable, the wire won’t snap at bends, making it perfect for ceramic armatures. It also performs well as a core for plaster and paper sculpture, in wire sculptures. It comes in a 32.8-foot coil and is available in black or silver; additional colors are offered at 1.5 millimeters.
2. Jack Richeson Armature Wire
Wire for armatures needs to be both sturdy and workable into precise shapes. Jack Richeson’s durable, 16-gauge aluminum armature wire is a dream to form. It will not rust or corrode and performs well as a core for clay, paper, and plaster sculptures. It also may be put in an oven or kiln. Lightweight, this wire won’t make your sculpture too heavy. And because of its flexibility, it won’t snap or break at sharp bends, so you can double it up for extra strength without worry. The silver-colored wire comes on a 350-foot spool.
3. Twisteez Craft Sculpture Wire
When young artists are happy, their teachers are happy. This colorful wire brings joy because it is so easy to use. Precut into 30-inch lengths, it bends and twists comfortably into any shape. The lightweight 24-gauge wire features a copper core coated in plastic in an assortment of bright hues. The plastic coating protects hands from scratches and is comfortable to handle. Use this wire to form small sculptures or as part of an assemblage; it also works well for mobiles, flower arranging, and jewelry.
4. BBTO Aluminum Craft Wire
Sometimes the best option is a variety of options. This set features malleable aluminum wire in four thicknesses (from 1 mm to 2.5 mm), so you’ll always have the right one on hand. It shapes easily and is ideal for wire sculpture, and armatures. Available in silver-, copper-, or gold-tone finishes, it is rustproof and won’t stain projects. The durable wire is easily shaped by hand without breaking; use needle-nose pliers to add details. You get a total of 65.6 feet.
5. Mandala Crafts Anodized Aluminum Wire
Mandala Crafts’ wire not only is available in a wide array of jaw-droppingly beautiful colors, but is also is sturdy and versatile. The wire is made from anodized aluminum, bearing a protective oxide coating created by an electrochemical process. Colors become part of the wire and won’t chip off; anodizing also adds strength and makes the wire appropriate for indoor and outdoor use. Available in 100-foot spools in a range of gauges from 12 to 22, the wire is flexible and bends with hands or pliers. Shiny, colorful, and versatile, it is great for wire sculpture, jewelry, weaving, and armatures. In fact, it looks so great, you may want to integrate it into the final aesthetic of your artwork.