Monday, December 31, 2012

08 Joint Design Nº 54




On the left is the bottom of the cast carving wax head, showing where the spare was located. On the right is the original head, modeled in oil-clay, showing the wooden armature inside the head. There is a recess where the wire armature of the neck on the torso fit. Click on any image to enlarge it.






Here I have marked the depth that the neck fit into the head, using some masking tape.






The depth is about 17mm. This is where the top of the neck ball needs to go. I am thinking of making the neck similar to the way that Ryo Yoshida made the neck on the doll in his book.






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Sunday, December 30, 2012

08 Joint Design Nº 53




This is a progress photo of all the carving wax doll parts I have made. Click on the image to enlarge it.






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Saturday, December 29, 2012

08 Joint Design Nº 52




Today I came down to the studio without any inspiration, energy, or motivation to work on my doll at all. In times like this, I try to do something. It has to be something that does not require much thinking, because all I can do is sit and stare stupidly at the tray full of carving wax doll parts, and wonder what I am doing. I finally decided to bevel the edges of my plaster ball molds. I cannot possibly do any harm by doing this. I used a tool called a Surform to bevel the edges of the molds. The bevel makes the mold nicer to handle, and lessens the risk of chipping a sharp corner of the mold. Also, the beveled edges are not as sharp on the rubber bands, so maybe they will last a little longer. After beveling the corners of the molds, I used the point of a large lag screw to carve the size of the mold on each mold. All of these ball molds have had a chance to dry out, so the plaster shavings did not clog up the teeth of the Surform blade. Click on the image to enlarge it.






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Friday, December 28, 2012

08 Joint Design Nº 51




I worked some more around the seam that was made when I joined the two halves of the torso. I use the wax pen to melt the base carving wax on the torso, as well as melting some pieces of carving wax into the melted area to fill in. Click on any image to enlarge it.






 I used my paring knife to subtract excess filling wax, then I used some sandpaper to smooth the area.






Sanding is similar to using a rake, and it exposes some low areas, which I filled in with carving wax, using my wax pen to melt both the base and the filler.






Then I scrape off the excess with my paring knife and sand it smooth.



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




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Thursday, December 27, 2012

08 Joint Design Nº 50




After reading some of Yoshida Style, I picked up the torso and worked on the neck. First I drilled the hole larger with a 1/2 inch drill bit, then I started enlarging that hole with a flattened spoon by twisting the spoon in the hole. Eventually, the 40mm carving wax ball will fit in the neck. Click on the image to enlarge it.



I am working on the neck while taking a short break from working on the hips. At this point in working on my doll, there is so much to do, that anything I pick up and work on, is a step forward.




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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

08 Joint Design Nº 49






The carving wax ball on the left has had some seam work done on it. Click on any image to enlarge it.






After working on the seams of the left carving wax ball, I did some sandpaper work with 100 grit sandpaper. Working on the carving wax with sandpaper is like working on the oil-clay figure with a rake. It shows where the low spots are. These two balls are positioned more or less the same way they came out of the same plaster mold, except the ball on the left has had some carving wax work done on it. All those fill lines on the ball on the right have disappeared with some sanding on the ball on the left.



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




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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

08 Joint Design Nº 48




Joyeux Noël. These are the two 76mm carving wax balls I cast, with their spares attached. Click on any image to enlarge it.






I used my paring knife to cut off the spares.






I use some bits and pieces of carving wax from my carving wax scraps tray to fill in the holes.






I use my wax pen to fuse the carving wax pieces together.






It is important to melt the carving wax pieces deep enough so that they are completely fused with the surrounding carving wax ball.



1. A section view of the carving wax ball with the spare removed, leaving a hole.

2. Pieces of carving wax pressed into the hole.

3. Pieces of carving wax melted together.

4. If the pieces of carving wax in the hole are not melted together deep enough, then when the carving wax over the hole is trimmed away, the pieces of carving wax will fall out of the hole.

5. The wax pen must go all the way into the thickness of the ball, and completely melt all the pieces in the hole, fusing them with the ball.

6. Finally, the excess carving wax is trimmed away with the paring knife.




The pieces of carving wax have been melted together with the wax pen.






This shows how I am melting the carving wax deeply, thus fusing the carving wax pieces and ball together to make a solid filling.






I work all around the hole and in the center as well. This is good practice using the wax pen, learning how long it takes the carving wax to melt, cool, and so forth.






I use the paring knife to trim the excess filling wax off of the hole.



These balls still need some more work done to them, trimming seams, and sanding them smooth.

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




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Monday, December 24, 2012

08 Joint Design Nº 47




Wax and water do not mix. This is the basic principle behind casting molten carving wax into plaster molds. The plaster mold must be saturated in water before pouring the molten carving wax into the mold. In this photo I have completely submerged the plaster mold in a pail of warm water. Bubbles of air will start to rise from the plaster mold. How do I know when the plaster mold is completely saturated with water? Air bubbles stop rising from the plaster mold. I usually turn the mold several times while it is soaking to make sure that air has not been trapped in the mold when I submerged it. Click on any image to enlarge it.






While the plaster mold is soaking in warm water, I put my wax pot on the hot plate and turn it on. I have a mark on the rotary dial where the carving wax will just melt, without getting too hot and smoking. If the carving wax (or any wax being melted) smokes, it is way too hot. I always have to add more wax than I will need for the actual carving wax ball because I must fill up the mold to the top of the spare when I pour it. The carving wax will thicken up along the walls of the mold, and twhen it gets thick enough, I will empty the excess wax back into the wax pot, leaving a hollow carving wax casting.






Somewhere in the garden, I lost my black masonry tub that I usually use to soak molds in. So I put the plaster bat that I use to pour carving wax into when I am done casting, into the shower stall and filled it with water to soak.






Here are the water saturated mold halves, removed from the pail of water. When the mold is saturated, water will no longer be absorbed by the plaster. The standing water in the mold must be removed before pouring molten wax into the mold.






I use toilet tissue paper to dab out the standing water that is in the mold.






I band the mold together with rubber bands to ready the mold for pouring.






I always stir the carving wax in the wax pot before I pour it into a ladle. This stirring mixes up the talc that is on the bottom of the wax pot. Pouring from a ladle allows me to have more control over the pour.






I do not have any pictures of actually pouring the mold because I am too busy to take photos. This photo shows the mold after it was poured with carving wax, topped off with carving wax, then the excess carving wax poured back into the wax pot. To make sure I could pour the excess carving wax back into the wax pot, I stuck a stick into the spare opening and made sure the hole was large enough. Then I picked up the plaster mold and took it over to the wax pot, and carefully tilted the mold until the carving wax poured back into the pot in an even stream, without any gulps for air. It takes practice. Casting carving wax is good practice for casting slip later on.






I put the casting back in the pail of water so it could fill with water and cool off a little faster.






I like to take off the rubber bands while the mold is in the water. Then I open the mold carefully while it is in the water. Here is my first 76mm carving wax casting, half embedded in the opened plaster mold.






The 76mm carving wax ball is shown with the plaster mold which  has been removed from the pail of water.






I dab out the excess water from the mold, in order to get it ready for the next carving wax pour.






The mold is baned together with rubber bands.






I add more carving wax to the wax pot so I will have enough wax to fill the mold.






I use a pair of heavy leather gloves to handle my wax pot. The wax pot I am using does not have any handles, and it is very hot.






Once again I pour the molten carving wax into the ladle, then pour the mold with the ladle. Once the carving wax has been poured into the water saturated plaster mold, topped off, then the excess poured back into the wax pot, I empty the wax pot into the water saturated plaster bat. When the carving wax solidifies, but is still soft, I use the paring knife to score it so it will be easier to break up for use later on.






I make sure that the wax pot is turned off and unplugged.






The carving wax casting has been cooling off in water in the pail.






Here is the second 76mm carving wax casting, along with the water saturated plaster mold it was pulled from.






There is now a 40mm mold, a 66mm mold, and a 76mm mold in my ball mold library.






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Sunday, December 23, 2012

08 Joint Design Nº 46




Once set up, the mold is ready to be split open. I use my paring knife to split the mold along the seam line. Click on any image to enlarge it.






I use a little brass hammer to tap the knife blade into the seam line.






I rotate the mold and do the same thing on each side until the mold starts to split.






The mold split cleanly on the seam line, revealing the pattern inside.






Here, the pattern has been removed from the mold.






I am reclaiming the oil-clay which covered the carving wax ball inside.






Next, I used my paring knife to carve the spare.






Here is the finished mold, ready to make 76mm carving wax balls.






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