From Clay to Wax

March 05, 2021

As we wrap up the first week of the Iron Pour ECS, we also finalize our wax molds. I have been primarily working with oil clay and water clay to create my initial rendition of a piece rather than simply working with wax. My process begins with clay; I shape and mold it into the sculpture shape that I want in iron. However, I have to make sure that the clay won’t get stuck in the plaster mold, so I am careful to avoid undercuts and any extremities that could potentially get caught in the plaster. Unlike many people, who have created a two-piece mold with plaster, I have been using a one-piece mold with a flat side of my mold pressed against the table. This way, I am able to skip the step of lining up the two-piece mold and making sure the halves match. Then, after 30 minutes when the plaster has reached the end of its chemical cycle, I am able to scrape out the clay. With my new plaster mold clean, I pour in the wax. I then take a hammer and chisel to the plaster, chipping away at it until it frees my wax mold. From here, I am able to touch up any imperfections or mishaps. With all of my wax molds complete, tomorrow I will be able to move on and explore the last mold that I will have to make before the big pour. This week has given me the opportunity to stylize and explore different sculpting techniques and find my niche within them. For example, I have learned that I love creating textures within my clay piece and watching it transfer into the wax mold.