There are many tricky and technical aspects of this project. Recreating the individuals in wax is one. After pouring and pulling the wax of from the life cast there is many stages of sculpting the wax goes through. It has to be pieces together with the rest of the body to look like it is in the pose intended. In this case he is about to blow into the pipe. An armature has to be created to support the wax figure and the limbs have to be "pinned" with screwers to keep from falling apart. The gesture and facial expression is continually altered as it comes together.
The live model for the gaffer in this sculpture was Yazzie Graham. After taking multiple molds from her body and head, I poured wax into the silicone life molds, pulled the waxes and started assembling them together. This is a time consuming, tedious endeavor where the wax has to be warmed, manipulated slowly, fitted, trimmed and placed.
After waxes are poured, they have to be pulled from the silicone molds and assessed. I had to pour and pull multiple waxes in various thicknesses to get the wax with the best details. The wax has to be thin enough to pull and push it into shape and thick enough to hold together and not fall apart. Once I am happy with how the wax is going I can start to set it up on an armature and work with clay to fill in areas of the figure.
Dean Allison is a studio artist working with portrait sculpture and the figure with glass. His studio is in Pittsburgh PA. Dean is working on a commissioned sculpture for our new space in the Newark Arts Common. Follow Dean as he works to create this new significant work of art.