Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lower Torso Casting in Carving Wax

Today I cast a couple of lower torsos in carving wax from the mold I made yesterday. First of all I started melting the new batch of carving wax. I wanted to see if a small addition of microcrystalline wax would be enough to make it useful. I added 3oz of brown microcrystalline wax to the melt. Martha Armstrong-Hand's carving wax recipe is 9:9:1:1 of paraffin, industrial talc, beeswax, and carnauba wax. That is 20 parts total. 1/20th of 56oz is about 3oz. I used microcrystalline wax because that is what I have on hand in my studio.

The plaster mold needed to be soaked until completely saturated with water. Water and wax don't mix, so wax will not stick to a water-saturated plaster mold. I also soaked my plaster mold that I use to pour excess wax into when I'm finished. Finally, after the wax has melted, and the molds have had the excess water dabbed out of them with a soft cloth, I use some heavy rubber bands to secure the mold halves together, so the hydrostatic pressure of molten wax won't force the halves apart, spilling the wax from the mold onto the floor.

I set the mold with the pouring sprue upright, and holding the wax pot with leather gloves, I carefully pour the mold full of wax in one continuous stream of wax, so as to avoid any stop-and-go lines on the casting. Here are some photos of today's castings.

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