Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Ye Olde Wax Casting Demo: A Visit From Kyle Williams.

Let me introduce you to Kyle Williams.

Kyle has a bit of a talent for casting hands to make compelling sculptures like this.....

.....and this.

So when you have an advanced student who can make hand casts like that, you've gotta have him come in and demonstrate his knowledge to the younger sculpture students in my Advanced Sculpture class.

We started out by melting a pot of wax.

Since Kyle was going to cast someone's face, we needed to let it cool down to a usable temperature after the wax was melted (it was a little too hot to apply to flesh).

So while the wax was cooling, Kyle gave everyone a quick plaster casting demo.

He poured the plaster into a wax cast of his hand he had made the night before.  We set it upright until the plaster cured.  Once the plaster was set, Kyle would have another hand to add to his arsenal.

The wax was now cool enough to use, so Kyle wasted no time in getting to work.  We had our volunteer coat her face with a liberal application of Vaseline so the wax mold could later be removed with a minimum a hair plucking/skin pulling.

Kyle added a little extra to the eyebrows to insure easier release.

Time to apply the wax in even coats so it would be a nice smooth inner coat.

Kyle started at the forehead and worked his way down.  Once he reached the nose, it was time to add straws so our volunteer could continue to breathe.

Once the smooth base coat was on, it was time to start building up the mold in earnest.

Once the mold was thick enough to work, we still had to wait a few minutes to let the wax cool down to the point that it would be firm enough to hold its shape during the extraction process.

.......and extracted!

For the next class (Sculpture), Kyle started out by making a mold of his hand to cast in plaster. 

Kyle mixed another batch of plaster and then poured it into the freshly made mold.

While that cast was curing, it was time to cast another volunteer's face.....

*Note the laser-like focus of my sculpture students while Kyle is intently concentrating on the nuanced wax application required to capture the details of the nose/mouth/cheeks area.

Following the same procedures as the previous face cast, we had another successful face cast.

The wax removed her make up to create something that looked like an old photographic negative.

I should also point out that in addition to sculpting, Kyle is quite an accomplished painter.

I should also point out that in addition to sculpting and painting, Kyle is an accomplished musician.

Accomplished you say? Accomplished how?  Kyle's first album, Emotions Captured In Time, was just released last week.  You can check it out at: iTunes LINK.

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