Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pushing the Wax

Two wax casts from workshop at Encaustic Conference. Left is solid, right is hollow.
Last June I attended the 7th International Encaustic Conference in Provincetown and took the workshop Casting and Sculptural Wax. It's been on my mind ever since and I'm just now having time to explore this technique in the studio.

Given that my process involves the collection of units into larger wholes - this technique of being able to replicate a single object into multiples is a match made in heaven. It's been some time so I've had to find my notes, dust off some cobwebs and ask many questions of the very friendly staff at Reynolds Advanced Materials in Allston, but now am well on my way to testing my ideas.

Silicone molding material and porcelain doll head, in process of curing before adding top half of mold.
My first experiment is an old porcelain doll head. Here I've closed up the opening of the eyes with plasticene, positioned it in the housing and poured the bottom half of the mold. This happens to be  curing as we speak. When it solidifies I will pour the second half, cure it and then will start playing with making some hollow wax casts.

I've been sketching like crazy with fantasies of very large wax sculptures with embellished surfaces and expressive postures.... we'll see. Here are some experiments playing with rubber molds and other materials on wood panel:

A fun ice cube tray in the shape of false teeth.
Foam rubber positives and negatives on the top row. Ice cube tray casts on the bottom.
Bubble wrap placed in a pool of hot wax and then removed to leave inimitable texture.
And here are some of the surfaces I've been playing with:

More relief experiments but with pigment, bronze, and patina.

Tonight, I'm at home impatiently waiting out the storm so I can get back into the studio. There are so many applications for concept and practice that I sort of don't know where to begin - I love that feeling!


  1. This is as yummy as your peach preserves!

  2. Not so easy to eat though :)... thanks Amy.