Monday, December 17, 2012

08 Joint Design Nº 40

I made a diagram to show how I am working on the carving wax doll parts. Click the image to enlarge it.

1a. In view 1, the forged shape of the tip of the wax pen is shown. In view 2 the forged tip is shown from the side. The overall shape of the tip is round and flat. This is a very versatile shape for me to use.

1b. This is a cross section of a carving wax doll part, showing a hole or a seam that needs to be filled, or to have some carving wax added to it.

2. The first thing I do is to turn on my wax pen and let it heat up. The wax pen controller is set to heat up the tip of the wax pen so that it just melts the carving wax, but is not hot enough to cause it to smoke. When the tip is warm enough to melt the carving wax, I insert the tip into the hole and melt the carving wax in the hole.

3. Once the base carving wax has melted, I add carving wax to the melted area by touching a piece of scrap carving wax to the tip of the wax pen, and dripping carving wax into the melted area. This builds-up carving wax in this area into a solid raised area. What I am trying to avoid is a cold-lapped area where the carving wax filling is not fused to the base carving wax doll part, but is just sitting on top of it.

4. Next, I use my paring knife to carve down the added area of carving wax until it matches the surface of the doll part.

The actual work is practice, practice and more practice: adding, subtracting, and smoothing repeatedly. Martha Armstrong-Hand

Finally, I can use sandpaper to smooth the doll part.

Sandpaper is the final tool or medium to shape the wax. It comes in different grades from 80 to 600. I purchased a few sheets of 80, 100, 120, 240, and 280. For the finest surface finish I use 600. For easy use, I have a cigar box with sheets of every grade cut into thirds. I have learned to keep a set of little boxes with small pieces of sandpaper that fit into my hand and are suitable for working on the wax next to me on the table. They will go back into the cigar box when not in use, along with an old pair of scissors. Martha Armstrong-Hand

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