Monday, November 19, 2012

08 Joint Design Nº 12

I came into my studio today and the two cast carving wax arms caught my eye. The way I had put the spare on those arms did not leave much carving wax on the top of the shoulder when I removed the spares from the arms. I also spotted a spare from one of the carving wax hands, and thought that I could use a piece of that spare to fix the arms. So I cut a piece about 6mm thick off of the spare. Then I cut that piece in half. Click on any image to enlarge it.

The little half-round pieces fit into the ends of arms with a slight press.

This is what the fitted carving wax pieces look like, looking down at the ends of the arms.

I turned on my wax pen and welded the pieces into place. I hold the arm in my left hand, so I can tilt it at any angle I want, and I hold the wax pen in my right hand to weld the carving wax together. Then I use the wax pen to add more carving wax to the ends of the arms. Finally, I scrape the excess wax off with my paring knife. Now the arms look much better than they did. The repair was relatively easy to do.

See what I mean? I still have a lot of work to do on all of these carving wax parts, however I am very happy to have a complete set of carving wax doll parts to work on. What needs to be done?

I am currently researching about joint design by reading Zen & The Art Of Articulating Dolls Using Balljoints (Therese Olsen, 2007) for the umpteenth time. It is dense packed with information, and every time I read it, I learn something new, or see something old in a new light. I will need to cast some carving wax balls when I know what size carving wax balls I need. To do that, I will have to make some carving wax molds. The limbs will need to be cut apart at the joints. The arms will be cut at the elbows, and the legs will be cut at the knees. The torso also needs to be cut in order to make a two-piece torso. I am planning on cutting the torso at the bottom of the ribcage, since that is a natural bend point.

Then I will weld carving wax balls onto the cut limbs. Sockets and balls will be designed and made at the same time. Once that is done, I will test string the carving wax doll with round elastic doll cord. If everything works, I will start refining all the doll parts for use as patterns for making the final slip casting molds.

Anyway, that is what this part is all about. It might take awhile to do it. It is going to be a quite a steep learning curve. I may not get it right the first time. That is okay. Carving wax is an amazing design material that will allow me to experiment and make mistakes. That is how I learn. If I get it wrong, I have the advantage of being able to add and subtract, to carve sockets and cast balls to fit the end of a limb, and to test the construction by inserting cords or springs. I can cut, carve, drill, machine, weld, and smooth the carving wax and try again. I can only do as much as I understand how to do. Eventually, I will figure it out.

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