Beth Campbell For Older Children

silhouette of wire sculpture

Spontaneous future(s), Possible past


Beth Campbell

American, born 1971

Subject: 3D Drawing

Activity: Create a wire sculpture and embellish it with beads and string

Materials: Flexible, thin wire; ribbon or yarn; beads; pencil and paper

Vocabulary: Sculpture, drawing, shape, line, embellish


Beth Campbell uses wire to make large works of art that hang from the ceiling. She likes to use wire because she can bend it in any direction, the way a pencil on paper makes different lines. Her mobiles look like 3D drawings floating in the air.


Can you imagine how the artist made this?

What tools did she use?

Does the sculpture remind you of something you’ve see in nature?

How would the sculpture move if a breeze blew through the building?


Using a pencil and paper draw a simple line drawing. Try a flower, fish, or something else you find in nature. This is the model for your sculpture.

Bend, curl, and shape the wire to look like your drawing. Twist smaller pieces of wire onto the main shape to add detail.

When your 3D drawing is complete consider adding beads, yarn, or ribbon to embellish with color.


Beth Campbell used the drawing found in this lobby as the inspiration for the mobile.

Look again

Once you’ve completed your own 3D drawing, look back at Spontaneous future(s), Possible past and consider how it was made.


Sculpture - A 3D work of art

Drawing - A work of art where marks are made on paper

Shape - A form like a circle, square, or triangle

Line - A straight or curved mark that doesn’t connect

Embellish - To decorate with colorful items like beads, glitter, or string