Miró often used discarded materials, some of them discovered in the foundry. His aim was to create what he called an ‘unlikely marriage of recognisable forms’. The body of the tightrope walker is made from a child's doll, cast into bronze. The base on which it rests is the cone through which the bronze was poured, while the nails originally held the mould together. The mottled and textured surface results from acid deposits left by the casting process. Each of these elements has an expressive role within the sculpture which, like much of Miró's work, combines humour with suggestions of violence.