Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Carving Wax 02

I cut the carving wax casting into three parts with an X-Acto razor knife, then carved on them with my paring knife. One small annoyance when carving with the knife is that very fine shavings of wax had a slight static charge which caused them to stick to my hands. I also drilled a hole in the end of the large ball with a drill bit in my drill press. The hole is sharp and clean. I'm guessing that this wax can be machined.

I strung them together with some small diameter round elastic cord. This same cord cut through the small wax BJD when I tried to string her with it. This carving wax is very sturdy. I also like the color of the carving wax. I've already mentioned in the previous post that there is no discernible shrinkage when casting this carving wax.

This carving wax is much heavier than plain brown microcrystalline wax. I did several experiments with this carving wax casting. I have a rough sanding pad (I don't know what the coarseness is) and I used it to sand a surface under water. As rough as the pad is, it still smoothed the casting, leaving some scratches. Next, I dry sanded the same surface with a finer grit sandpaper (220 grit) and it took out the scratches, leaving the surface even smoother. There was no discernible dust from the dry sanding, but the sandpaper became clogged with wax.

Overall, I am very happy with this casting wax, and I am looking forward to casting my brown wax doll parts in carving wax, to make them hollow. It is my understanding that Martha Armstrong-Hand used a wax pen type of tool to make additions to her cast carving wax parts. I do not have a wax pen, but I will try to use my 25 Watt soldering iron that I use for melting small areas of my brown modelling wax.

Martha Armstrong-Hand's method of making BJDs was very detailed and process oriented.

  1. Draw ideas for the doll, and make a detailed, full-size front and side view plan of the doll.
  2. Model the doll sculpture in oil-clay over a wire armature on a modelling stand.
  3. Remove the sculpture from the modeling stand, and cut it apart at the joints.
  4. Make rough plaster molds, then cast carving wax parts.
  5. Design the ball and socket joints in carving wax.
  6. Finish the carving wax parts until they were very smooth.
  7. Make plaster production molds from the carving wax parts, for porcelain casting.
  8. Cast the porcelain doll parts.
  9. Finish the greenware porcelain doll parts.
  10. Bisque fire the porcelain doll parts in an electric kiln.
  11. Finishing the bisque-fired doll parts (removing seams).
  12. Hi-firing the porcelain doll parts.
  13. China-painting the porcelain doll parts in layers, doing a low-fire of the parts between layers (including face-up).
  14. Design of stringing system, and assembly of doll (including sueding the joints with fine leather).
  15. Wig making.
  16. Making clothing.
  17. Making shoes.
  18. Making accessories.
  19. Display of finished doll.

From the above sequence of the steps in making a BJD, I can see that the carving wax plays a very important role in obtaining a beautifully finished doll. I am very excited to add this carving wax to my BJD making materials list.

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