New layering modrock technique

For this technique i layered more efficiently. I also used a hairdryer between layers to ensure it was completely dry before i even attempted to apply the hot wax.


Problems with modrock

To make more of these wax balls, i would have to create more moulds. I blew up three more balloons, as i decided i wanted to make them in threes, mainly because it was easier to manage them. By having more than three i think i would of got confused with how many layers i had applied to each, as my process was repetitive. I would do a layer on one, and while it was resting i would be preparing the wax for the next one, and this would be repeated over 10 times a day.

However, this time the modrock process resulted differently to the last ones, i had layered the modrock like i had done the previous time, however this time i encountered a major problem. As i began to pour the hot wax on top, the balloon began to escape to modrock shield. It was apparent that the balloon was expanding as the heat was applied which caused the case to break and separate.

This was one of the major flaws in this process. Creating the wax layers was time consuming,it took over a week to create the three and i was beginning to run out of time. The modrock casing took over two hours to apply and a further two days drying time. So this breakage was far from ideal, it felt like all the time i had spent making them was now wasted.

Because i had already poured the wax applying new layers of modrock over the top of it, would not be beneficial, the modrock wouldn’t cling to the wax efficiently and i felt that i would be wasting even more valuable time by doing this. I then made the decision to completely start over, i threw the broken ones away and decided this time i would increase layers. I would apply more layers of modrock and when applying the layers i would use larger strips to cover more of a surface area, and layer each strip over each other vertically, horizontally and diagonally to achieve a secure design. I also decided i would increase the drying time, i would use a hairdryer and also extend the two days to three days to ensure that this time the process would run smoothly.

Polishing and tidying them

After getting the perfect shape and texture for them, i decided that  i wanted to smoothen them. At first i began trying to use sandpaper, i used wet and dry sandpaper and put it on a sanding block. However, this was unsuccessful, despite the wax being dry the wax just clung to the sandpaper and clogged it.

Therefore i decided to research how i would get wax smoother. Many forums suggested rubbing alcohol or a wax buffer. However, i spoke to the people in work shop and it was recommended that i used white spirit with a cloth. This was successful, and i began to experiment with pressure.

Adding pressure in certain areas meant more wax would come off the ball and create a paste that i would disperse around the rest of the ball to smoothen it. I  was pleased with the outcome and wanted to experiment more with this process. IMG_2575IMG_2580(finalised balls, before i secured the hooks)

Wax balls inspiration- Alien eggs

After creating my first three balls, i wanted to expand on their similarities to alien eggs. I decided that i would look at alien eggs that are depicted in sci fi films to get a definite image of the texture that i wanted to create, as i knew i could always go back into the first three i had created now that i have the technique down to a good standard.

These are the images i became inspired by:

i like the rippled texture of each one, and this is something i want to further expand on in my own practice

Using a hot airgun

After seeing that the now solidified hook would be successful, i decided to finalse these balls. At first i wasn’t sure if i wanted to neaten them up and make them one texture the whole way round so that there was a cleared juxtaposition between the nature of materials. Wax is delicate and decorative whereas metal is industrial and designed for the specific use of holding things.

However as i began to remove the excess drips from the wax process, the initial ripples that i liked at the start of this process began to show and i decided that i would emphasise them instead of removing them. I began to add more heat to certain areas then use my hands to press into the warm wax then use my thumbs to smooth it out.

Overall i feel like they look very weird, could even go as far to say they share aesthetics to some weird alien like sex toys, which is an aspect that would fit well with the chains as chains are a fetishised object, predominately used in bdsm. This texture and relationship is something i would like to explore further when texturising the rest of the wax balls. IMG_2561 (1)IMG_2578IMG_2579

Decision to hang on hooks

After looking at the artist Richard Deacon i decided that the simple juxtaposition of wax and chain was enough, adding anything else would lessen this juxtaposition. Therefore i decided that i would use the same hooks that i had used to hang my chains from. This would support the wax balls without introducing new materials.

However, this would be a challenge within itself. I was still in the process of finalising these balls, and was using a hot airgun which was melting the wax which was making the overall layers thinner as wax was being removed in order to create an emphasised texture. This in turn was making the hole where the balloon used to be wider which meant it would be difficult for the hook to cling to.

I spoke to Jon and Adam from the workshop, Jon suggested that i buy”rawl plugs” as their  expandable nature meant that they would expand within the wax ball hole and hold the wax ball. However this did not go to plan. I screwed the hook into the rawl plug but the expandable nature of the rawl plug which was why i chose this material became problematic. it was unable to single handedly hold the wax ball, the plug kept slipping out and i knew this would not only be a health and safety issue, but would ultimately end in all wax balls falling to the ground and shattering.

I then spoke to Adam and he suggested, building wax around the hook as he said that this would support the plug and the hook. So whilst i was still layering my other two wax balls i would use the excess wax, that when warm was easily modelled to build around the hook,

This was successful, and seemed to hold the ball when held in mid air, however i would soon have to test this on the chain itself.

Richard Deacon

Richard Deacon is a British artist who creates large abstract sculptures, these sculptures display an element of juxtaposing materials but it also emphasizes the construction needed for each element.  For example, when wood and steel Is juxtaposed it is apparent that each material would have been handled differently, as despite both being strong materials, steel when melted is a lot more mallable that wood. Therefore, I find it interesting that his work combines two different pieces and intertwines them as one.

The piece ‘Art for Other People” #12 belongs to a series of sculptures and is a combination and simultaneous juxtaposition between the materials Marble and leather. The combination of the materials displays the clear difference between them, leather is soft and malleable but it is also tactile. In contrast to this the marble is cold and hard, however both depict an aesthetic beauty. The marble shows similarities aesthetically to horns, possibly something like a buffalo, whereas the leather has been sculpted in a way in which it resembled similarities to flower buds or seeds. The marble is placed on this flower bed possibly to highlight the juxtopostion between hard and soft, aggression and submission and possibly an element of an animal foodchain.

I like this juxtaposition I think it’s an obvious juxtaposition in regards to material. However I think it is difficult to pinpoint an exact juxtaposition in regards to the thinking process. I like the confidence the piece exuberates combining delicacy and durability and is something I would like to include in my own work when working with wax and metal.

Art For Other People #12 1984 by Richard Deacon born 1949