WOW! your stuff is AMAZING!!!!! I would love to learn how to make something like this, but all I know right now is how to make roses...I tried following your tutorial on this page, but I guess I'm more of a visual learner hahaha... but thanks for putting it up, I've been looking for months to learn how to make stuff like these and now I'm that much closer
His whiskers are from paper-clips, and I admit that I cheated a bit on the ears(I used ink for the edges...I guess I could have glued in a piece of pipe cleaner, but I don't like using glue) and I used pencil for his nostrils and to give his upper lip some separation, but everything else is pipe cleaners.
Thanks for the fave. The 'sculptures' are hollow; I make the framework before I cover each section, starting at the head, then torso, legs, and then arms usually last(it's easier to visualize the proper proportions when you do the legs first, depending on the pose...) I work line by line, from top to bottom, and it gets rather frustrating because making the framework is like trying to build with air, one stick at at time and they have to be placed perfectly or I can't proceed to the 'skin'. Once I get a section of framework to look reasonable, I still have to plan each 'wrap around' carefully so that there are no gaps in the skin. All in all, making these creatures can be quite the pain in the a**, but I get a very rewarding feeling when it turns out and when I see the look on the customer's face. Cheers.
I do sell them, but I only make one of each, then I move on to something else. I don't see the point in making doubles of my creatures. They are mostly custom requests, but I have made some from my own to-do list and found buyers quickly. Sorry, I won't make another Simba(not like this one, but perhaps I might be convinced into making the older version of him...)
a few questions: are your sculptures poseable? and what do you use to fill up the space inside (if you have noticed, my sculptures tend to become very slender because i don't really know how to do this)? do you just wrap pipecleaners around each other until they get the shape you want - if so, that must use up an awful lot of pipecleaners...
great work as always. this one is going into my favs.
The sculptures are not poseable. I have to plan the pose right from the start, which can be frustrating, especially since I am a perfectionist. The first 'generation' of creatures I made were somewhat how you described yours; I would also wrap around and around to get substance in the center, but I didn't make them very big because I didn't want to waste too many 'sticks'. I then learned that the best way is to make a framework and wrap around that(gently, so you don't warp the structure as you go) to build the 'skin', or head, line by line, as you work your way down. You should understand immediately what I'm saying if you try to make a soda can, for example. Make a ring (approximately 2 inches in diametre)for the top, run a stick down a side for your length(let's say 4 inches), make another same-sized loop for the bottom of the can, and run up the other side to join to the top ring. Add two more sticks vertically to the sides so that you have 4 even quadrants. Now add 4 more vertical pieces so that you have : a top ring, a bottom ring, and at least 8 vertical pieces holding the rings together. That is your framework, or structure. Make sure you make a cross on the very bottom of the 'can', then start in the very center(ALWAYS start at the center) and wrap around each cross piece, spiralling outward as you go to form the bottom surface of the can. When you reach the outer edge of the bottom, continue up the outside of the can, wrapping around each of the vertical pieces one at at time until you reach the top. (I call the framework my 'Tie Points'; more Tie Points = a stronger and more manageable sculpture) So, to answer your question, they are all hollow. Voila! Lesson one! Would you like me to send you a picture of a partially done 'can' so you can see what I mean?
interesting. your can method reminds me of how I make top hats. I also use skins, but mine tend to collapse on themselves after a few months so I keep the center filled to support it and increase it's life span. So if you wrap gently around the center substance do you remove it afterward? Or does it stay inside the skin the entire time?
I will upload my latest creation, which is a working Frisbee(yes, it flies quite nicely). Have a look at the backside and you will see exactly how they are made. Examine both the frisbee and the soda can explanation and you will see that the framework stays inside because you need it to hold the skin together. I used 8 pipe cleaners for the framework, and they all cross at or near the center of the frisbee(I say near because it gets pretty bulky trying to cross that many sticks over each other)
The top part of your Top Hat is, essentially, a frisbee, or flat disk, then the sides are the sides of a can, then the bottom is the outer part of a frisbee again. Voila!, you have a tophat. Do you want me to draw you a diagram?
I think i get the idea but thanks! This was really useful. Out of curiosity how long have you been making pipe cleaner art? Your method seems a lot stronger than most pipe cleaner artists I've heard from.
I've been building things with pipe cleaners since 1997. I used to make things with paper clips and cover them with tissue paper(from airplane model kits) and then paint them, but once I discovered that pipe cleaners offers instant structure, body and colour, I gave up on the wire art. If you look at pages 4 and 5 of my pipe cleaner gallery, you'll see that most of my creations started out much the same as Artists are still building them now - I would make them small so that I would not have to use so many pipe cleaners, and I would wrap around and around, exactly like you did! I then resorted back to the wire art method of building the internal structure as I went: Head first, starting with the eyes then work your way downward from the top of the head to the neck, then build the cage for the Torso and pelvis, skin that, then build the cage for two thighs, then calves and feet(doing it this way allows for some adjustments so that you can get the legs the same length. Skin the legs and then make your arms the same way; upper arm cage, lower arm cage, hand, and then skin it from the shoulder joint down... Got all that? I really should get those tutorials done...right now they are just doodles on paper...
wow. That makes my nine years of experience look like nothing.I started out making toys for my toys, then decided that playing with the pipe cleaner toys I made was more fun than the store bought toys. I was originally a doll maker, making mostly OCs. I got really frustrated because I couldn't make any new characters and started doing fanart as a challenge for myself. I moved on to non-hollow sculpting about a year ago when I joined DA. I also use the skinning strategy. I'm going to have to try out your start-at-the-top-method. It's a bit more systematic than my figure-it-out-as-you-go-along method. Thanks so much for the advice!
wow. you are very generous with explanations i think i understand. i have tried that, but i didn't like the fact that the sculptures were not poseable, and they also became somewhat fragile. the sculptures i do now are poseable and sturdy enough so that they could be used as children's action figures (in theory - i would never give them to small children! ). thank you very much for explaining! there are not many people who do good pipecleaner art, so i always get really curious whenever i find a new pipecleaner artist on dA!