The Process

Wax Figurine Process
by Kathryn Stuberg-Keller

The process begins with a lump of clay for molding the face into features to resemble the President’s head. The clay head is covered with a liquid plastic that hardens into a mask. A plaster cast is made from the mask with a piece on the front and another on the back. When the plaster is dried, the two pieces of plaster mold are fastened together and filled with hot wax.

Since wax hardens from the outside first, a layer of two inches is required. The middle portion of wax is poured out and the mold is opened to reveal the wax figure. The head is painted the appropriate flesh color and the wax is removed from the eyes and mouth. Hand-blown optical eyes from Germany are inserted into the eye sockets and porcelain teeth are inserted into the mouth. The human head and facial hair is inserted using a heat lamp to soften the wax without melting it. Using a barbed needle, the hair is inserted one strand at a time by pushing the hair down into the wax. Once the wax hardens the hair will not be easily removable. Hands are molded from casts of human models. The head and hands are placed on a paper mache body and the body is clothed according to the era of origin.

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