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Making Trees with Wire

Part Two : Stem and Branches

To create the top half of the tree, gently twist the 18 (in case you use 9 wires) or 24 (12 wires) to make a stem. You do this for a few centimeters, until the height where you want to make the lowest branch. At that place you take four strands and separate those from the rest of the bunch. Those need not be four strands that were already sitting together. You get the best result when you take two strands from each side of the bunch.

Twist these four strands together to make a branch. You make that a few centimeters long.

After twisting a branch for a few centimeters, take two strands apart and twist those again. Twist the other two strands together also. Make sure there's a balanced distance between the heighth of the first branch, the length of the first branch to the first "split" and the rest of the branch.

Now continue twisting the stem unto the stage where you want to make a second branch.

There you repeat the process with four strands of wire, etc.


Adding Extra Branches

When you make a big tree in this way, and you use relatively thin strands, it may look a bit thin. You can make your tree more bushy by adding extra wires. For this, you can use the same thickness of wire or a thinner wire. Don't use very thin wire : it is important that your tree structure remains quite strong and does not bend too much. Too much flexibility will make your tree vulnerable to damage after you started to cover the metal wiring with plaster or other material (see further).

Wind the extra wire up the stem of your tree, up to the place where you want to add and extra branch. You can use one strand or wire for this, or two. To make the branch, make a loop. Make it about twice as long as you want the branch to be. Then keep winding the rest of the wire up the tree, and cut it at a convenient location (the last part where you cut it can serve as a small branch).

Start winding the loop (branch up to a stage where you want a side branch. If you use two strands here, you can split one off to make the branch. If you use only one strand, twist it in half so you end up with two loops. Split one off as a side branch.

Continue the same process till the loop has ended in several side branches and even smaller branches. You will end up with small loops where the branches have to be, like you did when making the roots.

Cut these loops in half (somewhere between three and five O'clock), so you make each loop into two small branch endings.

You can repeat this process with more strands of wire (blue in the figure) until your tree looks good.

When the whole tree is finished, start shaping it up. Twist and turn the branches till they look natural. When branches split in two, this is often horizontally, not so much vertically. This depends on the type of tree you try to make.
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