Friday, March 29, 2013

They're All Out Of Liquor - Let's Find Another Party


It seems it's been a while since I last posted anything new. I decided to take a bit of a hiatus from self producing my cold cast resin figures to focus my attention back to creating sculpture....
However, looking around my studio I soon realized, not only did I have a backlog of unfinished/(slated to be molded) figures sitting on my shelves, it also became apparent that they were also monopolizing a large amount of my sculpting material.
Unfortunately none of the figures was worth sacrificing in lieu of my desire to spend time in the studio noodling around with clay for the afternoon...

To make matters worse - It was the weekend and supply stores are closed. Frustrated yet determined; and after a few minutes of scrounging the bowels of my cluttered studio hoping to find, at least, a remnant of Chavant or even a left over fossilized bar of super sculpey, I happened upon some (forgotten) wax I had purchased several weeks prior....

I really don't enjoy sculpting in wax for leisure. It can sometimes wind up being a long and tedious effort, demanding too much focus which can suck the spontaneity and life out of a potentially cool design. Finding a good balanced wax; one that is firm yet SMOOTH and malleable enough to render a gesture quickly with the hardness that can be carved cleanly with an x-acto knife without being sticky...has always been a quest. There are some brands that I like well enough, but I still prefer to make my own (which is more like a waxy carve-able clay). At any rate I thought I'd delve in with this new brand and  try to have some fun with it.

In spite of the lighthearted nature of the sculpt - working with this wax wasn't much fun at first. The product turned a bit mealy when heated to 100°F taking on the characteristics of sticky light green mashed potatoes. Trying to model with it at this stage was pretty much the same. It's tenacity and gummy like quality suggested there was a fair amount of beeswax comprised in the compound.
Although, after finding the right temperature (80°F), where it was firm enough to be workable, I did enjoy some of the advantages it offered. A low melting point, got you working quickly. While cool down was fairly rapid; the wax was seemingly hard enough, at room temperature, making it suitable for carving detail. A quick pop in the freezer offered better stability for cutting in sharper detail. Unfortunately it's tenacity made it difficult to smooth by scraping and sanding methods and became a magnet for dirt. My relentless effort to use various smoothing solutions to aid in the process...just made a dirty mess. As it is indicative of the horrendous marbling that can be seem throughout the sculpture. Despite the photos - the color of this material is mint green. That's right - MINT GREEN...go figure?

I can't say it was a horrible product to work with. Eventually I will melt down another batch of this wax and add a few more ounces of Carnauba to firm it up a bit and give it the proper color by adding in graphite powder and a few dark crayons if needed.