The first wax of Play Bow is out of the mold

It was an exciting and nervous time for me.  I worked a long time on this little guy, getting all of the fur looking the way I wanted, the way I remembered our little cocker spaniel Sonny.  I had to hand my clay sculpture over to the foundry to be turned into a bronze statue.  The first step is to make a mold, which involves a few weeks of brushing on liquid silicone, letting the layer cure, and then brushing on another layer, till it is built up to a sufficient thickness.  It has to pick up all of the detail in the nooks and crannies, and stay strong enough so it does not tear.  

 

A mother mold of plaster is built up around it to keep the shape of the original sculpture.  When it is finally pulled off, the clay can be damaged, depending on how severe the undercuts are and how soft the clay is.  I had used fairly soft clay on the fur.

The mold for Play Bow.  The soft silicone picks up the detail and the plaster holds the shape.  By Terrence Robertson-Fall

My foundry guy, Esteban, did a wonderful job on the mold and the first wax came out fantastic.  He only had to cut off one leg to make the mold.  It will be cast separately and will be welded on in bronze.  The mouth and teeth and all of the fur came out perfectly.  There were only a few air bubbles to clean up, and the normal seam line corrections to be made in the wax.  It is a faithful reproduction of my sculpture.  I can't wait to see it in metal next!