Completing the gulls

by Jane Clift

Completing the gulls

This morning I went running.

I know.


I can’t say I enjoy it, but the feeling it gives me when I get back home is worth all the effort. I started running last April, around about my 62nd birthday. The reason? I had read an article about a woman my age who had done just that, Her journey was incredible and very inspiring. I wanted to get fitter, lose a bit of weight and generally get moving. My husband Phil is an avid runner and has been for as long as I can remember. He’s as skinny as, and can eat anything. So I started off going with him, running down the hill (the easy bit) then walking a bit. Now I run all the way around Dartmouth, which has it’s challenges because it’s not exactly a level terrain. I have to make myself do it and if it was left to me I’m sure I’d find a reason not to, but Phil drags me out. My goal is to go on a park run, which is 5K. In fact I plan to do my first one this coming Sunday at Paignton. I’ll let you know.

I have completed my colony of gulls and my client collected them last week. She seemed really pleased with them, so that’s great. They will be installed once her extension is finished. So I’ll take you through the final stages I went through to make them.

Once you have the basic shape, you need to start weaving around the structure to make it 3 dimensional. I used a fine 0.5ml wire. You simply fix the wire to a piece of the body and weave it around the struts, working your way up the body.Blog11 At this stage, you may think it looks more like fish than a bird, but don’t worry, it will all take shape once you add the beak and the wings. Once you’ve weaved all the way up the body, you need to add the beak.Blog13 It’s worth taking the time to study lots of photographs of the gulls beak. It will be trial and error, but the great thing about wire is that you can manipulate it until it’s right. Then add the wings. I used a slightly thicker wire for this, 1ml gauge, so that it holds it’s shape. Take the centre of you length of wire under the breast of the gull and secure it with fine wire. then bring the wire up either side to create the shape of the wings.Blog6 I added feathers to the tip and strands of wire to give a feeling of movement. Blog10 . You can continue to manipulate the overall shape until you’re happy with it. I appreciate that this is quite a complex project to start with. Next time I will tell you how to make a flower. Much easier…