A constrained variational curve is a curve that minimizes some energy functional under certain interpolation constraints. Modeling curves using constrained variational principles is attractive, because the designer is not bothered with the precise representation of the curve (e.g. control points). Until now, the modeling of variational curves is mainly done by means of constraints. If such a curve of least energy is deformed locally (e.g. by moving its control points) the concept of energy minimization is lost. In this paper we introduce deform operators with built-in energy terms. We have tested our ideas in a prototype system for modeling uniform B-spline curves. Through the use of widgets, the user can interactively modify the range of influence and other properties of the operators. Experiments show that these operators offer a very intuitive way of modeling.