Ideas for carving wax snake head


Does anyone have any tips, tricks or ideas for carving a snake head
out of wax? To be cast in delft clay or cuttle fish bone by the way.



If you are planning to carve a 3-D snake head, I would imagine you’ll
need to make it hollow, or it will be far too heavy in metal, and
probably not cast well, either. My suggestion is to take 2 very flat
pieces of carving wax, and use a double-sided carpet tape to stick
them together. This seam would be located down the center of the
snake head, as you lay out the snake head pattern on the
seamed-together wax. Once you have carved the snake head with as much
detail as you like, then pry the two halves apart carefully with an
Exacto knife. Remove the sticky tape, and proceed to hollow out each
side to about 1 mm of wall thickness. If your snake design has an
open mouth and an open neck, (open on both ends) then you could
probably seam the two halves back together with hot wax, and cast in
one piece. If not, cast both halves, and solder the two halves back
together after they are cast. Sorry, I know nothing about casting
using cuttlefish bone or delft clay, just lost wax casting.

Jay Whaley

snake head out of wax? To be cast in delft clay or cuttle fish bone
by the way.

First we’d like to know how you’re going to cast a wax in cuttlefish
bone, I guess.

Get wax, carve wax, burn out, cast. Scribing your design on the
sides first is pretty standard procedure, too.

Actually just carve the head solid and make a mold of it. Then do a
"slush" wax in the mold and it will be hollow. If you cannot get the
total texture of the piece from the mold, either heat the wax hotter,
or inject it under pressure and dump out the “excess” wax that is in
the center of the head to “make” it hollow…

John Dach


I can’t see using wax with cuttlefish bone. Since it is a hard
material (relative to delft clay or investment) it is carved to
produce a negative mold into which the metal is then poured. Perhaps
wax is hard enough to make an impression in cuttlefish. I don’t know
never having tried it, but I suspect the was would be damaged by the
cuttlefish bone. Delft clay would work but it would have to be a two
part mold so you’d be limited in not being able to have undercut
areas in your wax carving.

Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Alliance, OH

The biggest question is what kind of piece are you making? If the
bottom will not show, such as in a ring, simply carve the outside
then hollow it out, making sure you don’t have too much undercut that
might hinder a good mold. “But Neil, I’m gonna cast the single piece
just once” to which I’d reply make a RTV mold of the wax in case it
gets screwed up, which I think cuttle fish would do. Besides
cuttlefish gives a woodgrain kind of surface. Ick.

Suppose you spend a few hours carving it and something goes wrong in
the cast, hey it happens sometimes, even at the pro shops. That $25
or so for the RTV is well worth the saved time in carving a
replacement, plus next time you need one…you GOT one. You know
those shops that guarantee a good cast? That’s what they do, an RTV
mold of the wax you sent in.

How about fabricating the ring? In the classic book entitled
“Jewelry Making” by Murray Bovin on page 121 you will find a good run
thru of how to approach the task you are contemplating.

rp leaf


Yo! Actually I was planning to make a solid snake head, to solder on
a length of 8mm thick sterling wire. I already worked the wire into
the snake body, but the head decided to give me some woes. Simply
enough, I planned to cast the head, file off the cuttle bone marks,
and that’s as far as I reached.

I was thinking of using a bur to engrave the almond shape for the
eyes, and make a slit for the pupils…

Tell me more about these RTV Molds/method of casting… I am
unfamiliar with this process.


If you have an 8mm wire then I'd guess the solid snakehead will be
about 16mm+/-. Might present a weight problem depending on if its
a ring or something else 

I would carve a snakes head in 365 (3-D top and bottom) in hard green
wax and then saw it in 1/2 (a top & a bottom) and hollow it out - now
you have two halves- I would carve tabs (Male & female) so the 2
pieces clicked together. Now You can cast 2 light halves and either
solder or rivit together and they won’t have a lot weight.

Mary R