Author Topic: Figure Sculpture in Wax and Plaster (Lost wax casting)  (Read 3578 times)

Offline PTsideshow

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Figure Sculpture in Wax and Plaster (Lost wax casting)
« on: December 08, 2009, 07:37:00 AM »
Figure Sculpture in Wax and Plaster
Richard McDermont Miller
Dover edition 1987 and updated
Trade paperback
ISBN 0-486-25354-6 (pbk)

Dover Books site US
Dover books site UK


I was more interested in locating a book that is more current and dealing with wax methods and use. This book was suggested,and it didn't disappoint.

Not being somebody that will ever do a lot of or probably any figure work. But at least one of the members had some questions about building the wax model for casting in bronze.

The chapters on The use of the figure in art and whether the subject matter is life, photo or memory and the assorted conceptual drawing tools gesture, proportion and anatomy will be helpful in general.

The next group on the wax side of it.

Working with Wax, the nature of wax and tools for working with it.

Sketching a Small Figure in Wax, Two demonstrations showing how to work freely with wax. Warm wax and direct molding of the figure by hands and fingers.

Modeling on a Wax Armature, Showing another method of making small solid figures.

Hollow Wax Modeling, Showing a method for making larger wax sculptures.

He then moves on to plaster, starting with Working with Plaster. The properties of plaster,how to mix it, and the tools to use. This is another of those areas that can frustrate people and caused them to move on. As most don't really know how to handle plaster. And the tools to manipulate it.

The next chapter is Getting the Feel of Plaster, Building a tower and making a plaster sketch. This is fun looking exercise in it is strictly for getting and of what you can do and what the plaster can do. Highly messy
but informative. the making of the sketch was an interesting bit for me. As he casts a block of plaster, Like a sheet cake and then proceeds to cut out the torso,limbs and head assemble the sketch in to a human form and the refine it into a great looking table top piece.

Modeling the Figure Directly in Plaster,This is using tan armature of solid wire and building on that. Then the old chicken wire base sculpture to build the layers for the hollow piece.

Casting Wax from plaster Molds, pre-casting wax sheets,rods and armatures, and some tips and tricks on pouring the wax into the molds to get the best wax model. I know it did answer a question about why the few I have tried in the past had wax stuck to the plaster and wouldn't release.

Making Plaster Molds from Original Wax Sculptures, making a plaster cast from a wax original, than making a metal casting from a wax original, commonly called the lost wax process. In this case he is casting lead but in today's time frame a better choice would be non lead bearing pewter.

He finishes up with might be the best part of the book, the Appendix. Which contains information on wax and using it,Plaster and metals. In the newer books, so much of the detail of information, that is needed by the people that are buying and using the books. Is not passed on as the editors and some authors forget that the books are going to people looking for knowledge to EXPAND their skill sets.

This being a Dover book. It is well done, filled with step by step B&W photo's of the processes and demo's along with photo's of the tools and materials discussed. And being a Dover reprint the price is right. I have payed many times the price for college adult courses that didn't give 1/6 the information in this book.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 07:41:35 AM by PTsideshow »
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