nOne of the hardest areas to cut into sections is the gaffer. She is upright in a dynamic position which makes it difficult to counter its weight. In the summer months it makes it even harder to cut and mold because the wax has to be transfered to my fabrication studio for mold making. Every step of the way the outside temperatures create an environment where the wax can melt and shift positioning. It becomes a battle of time and working and transferring things quickly. Shown here, the arms are cut, fitted with joinery, set up for casting, cast and press molded.
There are 26 total investment molds that have to be made from the several areas of this wax glass blowing scene. Some of the molds will need metal outer jackets to keep the mold together when taking them out of a hot kiln and pouring hot glass into them. The molds seen below are of the assistants arms, hands, torso and head. Once the molds are completed, the wax has to be steamed out (lost wax process). The molds then have an empty cavity which glass can then be pored into. The molds then have to sit to become bone dry.
After the wax is completed to mimc the original model/ scene, the wax has to be cut into sections the will be cast in parts to then be reassembled in glass. Shown above: The wax has wood inserts that will be inserted into the finished glass allowing it to be joined together.
This sculpture will have various colors within it. It will have transparent and opaques. In order to get the colors that I want I have to do many tests. I mix a base batch of chemicals first. Then I figure out recipes for the colors that I want to create. I have to figure out crucibles that will withstand the glass melting temperatures. These range from 2100-2400 degrees F. I devised a system for filling the pots and melting the color, pouring the molten color out and creating a billet or ingot of glass. This requires resources, patience, research, a lot of head scratching, rental time and assistance. The colors I am shooting for are 2-3 opal and transparent browns, black, transparent pale yellow, transparent grey (tools), red/orange (glass bubble), clear (bench and rails).
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.