Friday, December 28, 2018

Waxing away

      After purchasing my wax and clay, armature wire and a book, I couldn't decide what to sculpt. Finally, I cut off some wax with a paring knife, heated a chunk with my hair drier, squeezed and molded the wax in the palm of my hand. At first I modeled a small bowl in wax. I waited a few days, heated the wax again and the shape of a head with a lump of hair appeared. It made me think of a photo of Hannah on the sofa in NYC reading a book...something I always wanted to paint. So, I sculpted Hannah Reading in wax. I think it might have been better if I made the body first and then placed Hannah face down on the "sofa." It is in a simple rough form and that is enough for me.

       Working with wax on my mahogany vanity table was a bit messy, so I looked in the basement for some scrap wood. I liked the contrast of the light wood and the dark figure. I thought, "Ah, I would like to create each of the grandchildren in a typical pose on pine." I chose a more challenging pose for Erika.One can see why Degas liked models and armature. I had to pull off arms and legs and the head for Erika, reassembling once I started looking at a photo.

        I think I will reuse this wax to make Erika in a different pose, where the gymnast is standing on her hands. This will surely require wire. I made a quick sketch below. Hannah was a two-hour effort.Since Erika keeps falling apart, she is an ongoing project.
      I also have a drawing of my reading the NYTimes every morning...and more. I figure I will take an electric knife to some of the packing foam that arrived in presents this Christmas to form a mountain shape base for my cabeza and another portrait base for Joe's bust to be developed in clay.I am going to have to stop procrastinating and get to shaping the aluminum wire and attaching it to a base. December and January are busy times but that is not an excuse!

      Of course modeling in wax has me interested in the new book out about Degas' dancer Marie: Little Dancer Aged Fourteen by Camille Laurens and Willard Wood. When I went to look it up I found another book published by Yale Press by an instructor I had in London so I ordered a used copy of that. Mother had a large statue of the Little Dancer. I wonder what happened to it. On to read these two books.I loved ballet.Position four?