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Tips & Tricks



HOUSEHOLD HELPERS:

Make sure your wax is not too hard.  Warm in your hands, with warm water or a blow dryer.  Don't get it too hot, or it'll be too melty to work with.


#2 pencil top - Press over and over for a scale effect.


Bottle cap - Roll the edge of it for a wavy pattern, or press it in for a flower shape.


Toys - Make your own dinosaur tracks fossil, etc.



•Playdoh accessories or rubber stamps


Cookie Cutters - Create fun shapes. Line your shape up next to the sprue to insure you don't cut it off by mistake.  If you do, we will have to put it back on, and if can mess up the way you want your finished piece to look.


Coloring books or magazines - Place the image over your wax medallion. Then use the pointed end of your tool or a pencil/pen to trace over the black part of the image.  


Rubber Cuticle Pushers - Use to smooth out your wax when you're on the final stages of your creation.



Other good helpers for working with your wax are abrasive pads like Scotch Bright™. After you've etched some lines into your wax, it may not be as smooth as you like. Scotch Bright™ pads are a great tool for smoothing out the wax. Be careful though...if you use them too aggressively, they also make great erasers.

Patterns look great cast in bronze. Try finding things around the house that you can press into your wax to create special effect patterns. Be extremely careful when pressing textures and patterns onto the bracelets. You could accidentally break the wax bracelet.

BE CREATIVE! There are hundreds of other items around the house that can assist you.



PLEASE USE ITEMS ONLY TO CREATE TEXTURES THEN REMOVE THEM FROM YOUR WAX.  We can only cast wax. Any returned wax with foreign objects in them will not be cast.

Sculpting/Carving

Here are some clips of folks working on their wax. You can see the idea sketch and how they are taking away and adding wax in each step bringing shape to their design.



Don't forget to sign the back of your artwork when you're finished.



Once you have your design exactly the way you want it, make sure there’s no extra wax hanging on it that you don't like or want. Any wax shavings on your returned wax will be cast.

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Advanced Tips

For those who feel more confident in their sculpting skills, there are a few more things you can do to really bring your design out.

 

Build Up More 3-D Effect. Work discarded wax back into areas where you'd like more depth.


Cut Out Negative Space. You can warm your wax by hand or warm your tool using a tea light candle and press the flat side of your tool into your wax to remove negative space.

 

Use Warm and Cold Water to Manipulate Your Wax. You can also use a small candle to warm your tools or even put your wax in the fridge to speed up the hardening process.
 

Create Sockets for Stones/Jewels After Casting. Keep in mind that you can always glue stones and other items into your bronze after it has been cast. Place your object in the wax and work around it.  Just make sure to remove it before you send it to WHC for casting.
 

Apply an Alternative Patina. We don't do anything but the basic patina that you see in the gallery, but there is a whole world of color out there.

 



Bronze after care

Due to humidity variations, bronze may tarnish. To restore it to its original high luster, lightly apply metal polish and buff with a soft cloth. You may choose to allow your sculpture to naturally wear to an antique patina.  If that is your choice, you will not need to polish it. If you do, we suggest using Brasso or Mothers®. These types of cleaners can be found at any automotive store or hardware store.

If you like the finish as it is, applying a coat of natural shoe polish to your bronze sculpture will create the professional finish used by sculptors, will help preserve the natural look and feel of the bronze, and will help protect against tarnish. Warm the polish and work it onto your bronze.