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Recipe for a modeling wax


#1

Hello you fine people, I’m back with another question. As some of
you have commented, I ask a lot of questions. I have to say though
that I’ve never found a more helpful resource than these Orchid
forums. Anyway, back to the question.

I read somewhere that there is a recipe for a modeling wax used by
sculptors that is a mixture of motor oil, microcrystalline wax and,
I think, plain old pottery style clay. I was recently speaking with
a friend who suggested using this wax blend as a pitch substitute
for repousse’. He didn’t have the recipe either. I’ve looked through
all my reference books and cannot find the references I seek.
Personally, I think I’m just gonna get some pitch for my work but if
anyone has heard of such a concoction I’d like to hear about it. I
occasionally try to steer “at risk” teens into the art world,
especially sculpture because it is so expressive and tactile. This
kind of mix would provide an inexpensive means for these kids to
channel their energies and artistic lives into something less
destructive than graffiti. There are some seriously talented,
frustrated kids out there that just need some caring person to help
guide them and, while I’m not a certified “art-therapist”, I’ve seen
how self expression helps them out. Enough preaching, If you know of
some such mix of inexpensive, easily produced modeling compound I’d
really like to hear about it. Thanks again for all your help.

Mike


#2

What metal are you going to have these kids use and how deep do you
hope that they can shape the metal. If you are using a foil weight
material and doing more of an embossing thing, magazines will work.
If heavier metal, consider sandbags. There was a thread not so long
ago about cheap ways to make them such as sewing jean legs shut or
using old leather purses.

Marilyn Smith


#3
    If heavier metal, consider sandbags. There was a thread not so
long ago about cheap ways to make them such as sewing jean legs
shut or using old leather purses. 

Marilyn: Sounds like a neat idea - I have used sandbags for simple
doming activities but never tried it for repousse. I would think it
might work if you are doing something very simple, but it would seem,
to me, that a disadvantage might be that the work would not stay put
too well. It seems like it would shift around. Pitch keeps things
firmly in place while you work. Is there something I don’t know about
working on a sandbag?

Kay


#4
If you know of some such mix of inexpensive, easily produced
modeling compound I'd really like to hear about it.

Here is a formula from " SCULPTURE " by Wilbert Verhelst.

5 quarts 30 weight motor oil
5 lbs. medium weight grease
20 lbs. microcrystaline wax
50 lbs. fine powered clay

First heat the oil, grease, and wax to molten. slowly add the
powdered clay. A good stirring device is a heavy duty 1/2" drill
motor with a mixing blade. If the clay is too hard, add a little more
heated oil. If the clay is too soft, add a little clay. Pour the hot
clay into small greased cardboard boxes.

I would ask in the community for donations of shelf worn oil and
grease . Also get several 5 gal metal buckets, or better a surplus 30
gal grease barrel .

When small lots get dry, they get hard. Vaseline or mineral oil are
good clean ways to refresh the clay.

With hot oil use GREAT CAUTION .

Consider cotton pants & shirt, with rubberized slicker suit pants and
top . A rubberized apron and face mask completes this picture.

In the predawn of the industrial age I used to heat large bearings
100 lbs. + suspended in 50 gal. pots of boiling oil . This was the
safe way to heat the bearings to expand them for assembly . NOT the
safe way for people.

ROBB


#5

Hello Mike;

The product you are refering to is called “Schmitt Wax”, and,
although I’m sure there are various formulas, when I made it for a
sculpture class, we used microcrystaline wax, Georgia red clay, and
axle grease. Can’t remember the proportions. But the end product is
a clay almost exactly like children’s modeling clay, often called
"plastecine (sp?)". Can’t imagine you’d find it’s consistency
suitable for repousse work. But if you really want some, I’d called
any college with a good sculpture department and see if there’s an
instructor there with a formula.

David L. Huffman


#6

I would not chose to do anything complex or small on a sandbag. I
think that the poster said that the pitch was needed for a class of
kids. I don’t find the original post so I’m not sure. I don’t
believe that there was about the ages of the kids or the
metal to be used, let alone the type of tools that would be
available. For slight forming, I have used a heavy rubber pad that I
found in a Tandy store years ago. I’m not sure what in what way
leather workers use this. I use the ball end of my chasing hammers
and work both sides. This gives me a free hand to hold the metal in
place.

Marilyn Smith