Doll artists have their preference about which wire they use. As you read their tutorials you may learn what wire they are choosing and if they twist strands together or not. We have gathered some very basic information about the different metal wires many doll makers use for small scale doll armatures. The gauge of wire you choose depends on many factors, such as height and pose of figure, or if the doll will be poseable after completion. It is up to each individual doll maker which wire they prefer.
Copper and Brass Wire. When pressure is applied to the clay with a sculpting tool, a copper or brass armature tends to give and then spring back instead of holding stiffly in position. Brass is stronger than copper or aluminum.
Aluminum Wire. Aluminum has almost no spring when pressure is applied and it bends easily. It also breaks from bending easier than steel wire. To compensate. you may have to use a slightly thicker gauge than you might with copper or brass.
Galvanized Steel Wire. Steel is stiffer than copper. brass or aluminum. It will break when repeatedly bent. Twisting several smaller gauge strands together makes an armature wire that is stronger and resists breaking.
Wire is available at hardware stores, home improvement stores and many web sites. Gauge refers to a wires thickness. For information about gauges, click on the topic Armatures on the blog's Index.