a r c h i v e

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Butley and Wax

I was working at Butley again today. I began by helping to open up the moulds that were poured yesterday, then I proceeded to spend some time hosing down the bronze, removing the grog that was still attached. I have had to do both of these jobs before, so hopefully I'm slowly getting better at them. 
However in the afternoon I was saved from having to hose down the rest of the bronze pieces, as I was removing the concrete that I had poured into the head moulds last week. This involves taking out the head and then cleaning off all the little bits of dirt and concrete that has stuck to the moulds. The cleaning part is important, as next time I use them the concrete would have dried onto the mould, distorting the original face. They were all relatively successful, but I hope that next time I do this I'll mix the concrete better, reducing the amount of water used in the process so that it doesn't end up watery.

After this I only had to shovel some grog and then I was left to my own devices. So I experimented further making my wax pyramid-like sculptures. I managed to make two pieces, with one being around 15cm tall. I think I'm slowly getting to the point where the card isn't able to hold the weight of the wax, so I'm either going to start making them out of wood, or try out using a new pouring technique. This would entail me pouring a small amount of wax into the mould and sloshing it around a little, letting it solidify around the outside. This would strengthen the outer shell, I would then proceed to pour the rest in. I intend to experiment a little with this technique tomorrow, seeing whether it works as well as if it still allows the dip in the mould to occur. I'm also going to see whether doubling or even tripling the thickness of the card helps to stop it from bursting, as well as using duct tape rather than normal tape.

I learned a little more about the wax pouring process today, I realised that as the wax becomes more solid, the dip in the middle becomes less prominent. So if I want a bigger hole I need to pour the wax in when it's warm, but this also increases the probability of the mould breaking. I need to think about this more, or maybe make a two part plaster mould, allowing me to re-use the mould as well as pouring hot wax into it without it breaking.
These are things that I need to consider in the next few days/weeks. Obviously I have the whole summer for this project, so who knows when I will finish it.

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