Back in 2013 I spent some time modelling puppet heads in wax which I later cast in hollow resin. I was asked to make these for a stop-motion animation. I posted this short piece originally just to show the modelling method I’d worked out for the hair styles, but at the time I couldn’t show that much of the finished effect because of a ‘spoilers’ agreement. That’s not so much of an issue now so I’ve included some better photos at the end.
I wanted to try modelling with something different but .. honestly, I wish I hadn’t chosen wax now because it’s so ‘literal’ (see ‘Modelling wax’ in the Materials section, which has more info on the current work in the Worklog at the end). I’m more used to working with Super Sculpey which has a very slight rubbery quality which helps especially when smoothing edges. Wax doesn’t do any of that itself.
But on the other hand, because of it’s extreme softness wax is easily ‘impressed’ and can even be ‘sledged’ into shapes. Sledging is the traditional technique still used by some plasterers to create a run of moulding, such as a shaped cornice, directly onto the wall by running a profile shape along wet plaster. I wanted to use a combination of pressing and sledging to model the hair for the puppets.
This is the first attempt to create a tool for it. I used a short length of 1/2inch ramin dowel and sanded the top end down to 3 differently sized curves, using sanding dowels and files.
The easiest way of cutting small grooves in these end curves was to use a mini-drill with a thin filing bit.
The 3 sizes would give some variety to the effects obtained.
These are my first quick tests and more will follow.