Saturday, May 16, 2015

Phase 2: The Wax

I made a last pass on the clay model at the foundry in Inverness, Quebec, on June 8th/9th, cutting into the clay to create "seeing"eyes and thereby eliminating the blank stare all too many sculptures have.

Hayes rubber mold and protective plaster cast.
The artisans at the foundry then covered the entire Robert Hayes clay model with silicone(rubber) to make a rubber mold. It takes several applications of silicone and  requires a few days to cure.

Before taking the rubber off the clay model they cover the whole thing with plaster to make a three piece "protective" plaster cast; another couple of day's work.

Once the plaster sets they open up the cast and strip the rubber mold off the clay model; a little like taking off a rubber glove. Once the clay model is free it is set aside and the then empty rubber mold is placed back into its protective casting.

This hollow rubber mold is turned upside down and filled with hot red wax. Once the wax sets to the desired thickness against the rubber mold the excess wax is poured out. A little more setting time and the rubber mold is stripped off like a glove again.Voila... a bust with a terrible sunburn as well as with a few parts missing here and there.

I spent the day today down at the foundry to do some final corrections to the eyebrows and eyes in the "wax". The wax allows me to "cut/refine" with more precision than the clay. I can also smooth out unwanted bumps and hollows a lot easier in the wax.

So, now it's up to the foundry to produce the bronze.That will take 10 weeks or so. Finally, it will be time to do a little patina work to add colour. See you then!