Wirework Sculpture, after Picasso’s Portrait of Francoise

This month’s blog continues with the theme of work inspired by museum and exhibition visits…

Ever since visiting the Picasso museum in Barcelona last year, I had been wanting to create a wire sculpture of this pencil portrait by Pablo Picasso.

Pencil drawing of Francoise Gilot by Pablo Picasso

The pencil drawing dated 1946/7 is displayed in the Picasso Museum in Paris so, although I did not see the original portrait, I was really inspired by the simple line drawing sketches that I did see in Spain. Picking up a postcard of the Francois portrait from the museum shop, I hoped that the image might inspire a piece of jewellery but instead the atmospheric and sensual portrait has translated well to a small wire sculpture. To me Francoise’s beauty and wistful gaze evoke calm and serenity which I hope I have captured in my piece.



Created from EcoSilver wire, less than 1 mm in diameter, it was a real joy as well as a challenge to make this piece. With almost 50 separate solder joins and using approximately 2 metres of wire, it took over 15 hours to make.

Made in sections, the joining together of separate pieces required using the four different grades of silver solder to minimise the risk of melting previous joins. Careful planning and a steady hand were essential as well intense concentration. I am very pleased to admit that I only had one near disaster and my finer soldering skills are now well and truly honed!

Measuring 10cm wide X 11cm high the sculpture has been set in a ceramic base, by my friend Rob Sollis who is internationally known in his own right. Sprayed in a graphite paint to contrast with the pure shine of the silver, the texture also adds depth and interest.

What I really love about this piece is its delicacy although equally it is bold and strong, casting dramatic shadows on to the background as light shines through it.

Front view of Portrait de Francoise casting a shadow

This is absolutely a ‘one off’ piece. It is for sale, so please do contact me if you are interested to know more.

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