Much time this past week was spent finishing up the wax figures. Just about there.
Panic set in which caused me to move up the clay part. My show date is the beginning of August, not the middle as I had been thinking. I really should start putting dates in calendars. Everything is in fast forward now.
With the warming weather, it was time to get all the wax dummies out of the work space. Looking back now, I really didn’t need to make all the dummies that I did. Bagged them for the freezer to be used in the coming months.
Mixed a 200 lb dry batch of casting slip. Last summer I gave up my big slip mixer in exchange for a bit more space. I have gone back to mixing it in a big bucket with a power drill. More work but the extra space is worth it as I can roll my slip buckets under the table when I am not using them.
Even though the big head moulds were done weeks ago, they were still damp. Time to bring an electric fan and a dehumidifier into the space. It’s always better to wait until the mould is completely dry to get the best surface in the cast. Still, I had to see if they worked.
The moulds cast fairly well. The bottom drains worked as they were supposed to so no extra strain on my body. I cast the slip for just over thirty minutes. The casts were a bit thin so maybe forty or so minutes next time. There were pinholes in the casts due to the dampness of the moulds. Something I have observed before. Not casting these again until the moulds are thoroughly dry.
I left the heads in the moulds for a day before taking them out. For the larger head, this was still too soon as it began to slump when I turned it over. Will be more careful next time. The inset foot was a problem. The flat expanse began to fall and crack as the pieces sat inverted in the mould. Hoping the thicker cast will help solve this problem. This may be something I have to reconsider. My sconces may end up as wall masks if I have to cut away the flat area where the hardware was to be secured. “It’s all good” as the kids say.
This coming week I will need to have the wax figures done in mould. It is also important now to get the bigger clay pieces together and drying. Will be pressing bases as well as casting and assembling trees. The clay figures will come later but should take less drying time so good to get the bigger components started now.