Wednesday, January 8, 2014

08 Joint Design Nº 424

Today I felt somewhat pedantic, so I tried to take advantage of it. I also felt pedagogical, so I made sure to take a nice series of snapshots of my workflow. This first snapshot is where I left off on the lower carving wax torso. There are some low places that need filling. The 60-grit sandpaper is really good at showing me where those low spots are. Click on any image to enlarge it.

Using my DIY wax pen, and a piece of scrap carving wax, I fill in some of the low spots. The temperature of my wax pen is adjusted so it melts the carving wax, but is not so hot that it smokes. The smoke is bad for me. I am responsible for my own health and safety while working in my studio. Anyway, as I have mentioned before, in several posts, I always melt into the base carving wax, which in this case, is the lower torso, then I add the filler carving wax to that, so the filler and base are thoroughly mixed. So the tip of the wax pen is inserted in a low spot, melting the carving wax in that spot, then I touch the piece of scrap carving wax to the back of the tip, and the filler flows into the low spot, mixing with the torso. The idea is to have the filler added so there is some carving wax to remove, in order to make the surface smooth.

This snapshot shows a filled spot that has been shaved down with my paring knife. It is still just a little bit hip to the surface. What I am trying to do is to match the curve of the surrounding torso, and not leave a flat spot. I do this by shaving from all directions, working in a criss-cross fashion with the blade of the knife. As usual, I work slowly, sneaking up on what I want. There are two filled spots right above the spot I have been working on. They will be the next victims of my knife. I work on one spot at a time.

Eventually, if I keep at it, I get all the filled spots shaved down. This takes some time to do, especially for me. I do a little bit, then do something else, then come back and do some more. I do not have ADD, I just have a lot of irons in the fire. There are so many things to do, and only so many hours in a day. C'est la vie.

Next, I go over the area again with 60-grit sandpaper. Hopefully, I did a good job, and they are all the same shape as the torso, without any flat spots. If I do make a flat spot, and I notice it, then I must do it over again. I try to do this type of work once. This is not my favorite thing to do. Nevertheless, I must admit that doing this type of work with carving wax is much easier and pleasant than doing this type of work with any other material I have ever worked with. The best thing is, sanding carving wax does not produce sanding dust. I detest sanding dust. What happens is that the sandpaper clogs up with carving wax. When one piece of sandpaper gets completely clogged up, I use a new piece of sandpaper.

This last snapshot is a back view of the area I have been working on. I can see that I have made some progress. I try to do a little bit of work on my doll every day. All those little bits are adding up.

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