Grade Level





Drawing paper, pencil, Twisteez brand wire, colored sheets of paper (or board) for mounting,

optional: pliers



Lesson Objectives

Students will…

create a wire portrait inspired by the work of Alexander Calder.

learn to properly and safely use wire and tools appropriately to create their artwork.

Introductory Activity

This project was introduced was after students learned and practiced contour and blind contour drawing.

Students were also introduced to Alexander Calder’s wire sculptures for inspiration and art appreciation.

Lesson Process

Students first completed a partial blind contour drawing of themselves or someone who inspired them.

Next, they lay the wire, 3-4 “Twisteez” wires (twisted together to make one long line), on top of the portraits they drew to trace their blind contour drawings. They used a little tape to anchor as they went.

Next, they transferred their wire portraits to a new background paper (carefully choosing a color that contrasted their wire colors), and poked holes in the paper to attach the wire to paper.

then transferred to a new blank background paper and created anchor points with additional wire poking through the paper.


shape, space, line, form, sculpture, mobile, portrait, contour, blind contour, organic


Similar approach YouTube video
Also similar approach YouTube video that uses a photograph
Archive | Calder Foundation
Meet Another Side of Alexander Calder at the Portrait Gallery | At the Smithsonian | Smithsonian Magazine

Author & Website/Blog

Kristen Raimondi

Supporting Images