Wax relief cast from clay

After reading about the technique Paolozzi used to create the textures for his assembled sculptures, I thought I’d have a go myself. 

Using a collection of bits and pieces in the studio, I pressed them into a sheet of clay. In this instance they were all objects made of metal as I thought it would make the clearest impressions on the clay. Even so, I thought I’d try some fine wire and mesh to see just how much detail I could get.

Once I’d made the marks onto the clay, I surrounded it with a wooden frame and poured hot wax into the mould.

I was pretty impressed with just how much detail came through, even in this rough and ready experiment.

After washing most of the clay off the wax (using cold water), I then softened the wax sheet using warm water so I could mould it into a shape. I was impressed at how you could manipulate it quite a lot and still retain details (see thread of screw bent over an acute angle)

wax-cast-metal-objects-11If I were doing this for real, once I was happy with the wax model, I’d then cast it in metal using the lost wax process. In this quick trial of the process, I went for a quick blast  of spray paint!

Doing it again I think I’d use a deeper sheet of clay to make more extreme impressions; looking again at Cyclops you can see that the wheel stands quite proud away from the ‘skin’ of the sculpture.


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