Studio work is not all directed toward completed pieces of art – sometimes the best part is experimentation without expectations. Whether it works or doesn’t work, the results add to the body of knowledge about the subject at hand. I got to play a bit at my studio yesterday, and learned a few things.
I’ve been doing a lot of mixed media sculpture lately, and I wanted to play with beeswax on textured fired unglazed clay (bisque). The video camera happened to be set up above the work table, so you get to see what I was playing with.
This is not a tutorial at all – it’s just me, fooling around and making comments 🙂
I learned a couple of things from these experiments:
- White clay is a better match for beeswax than red clay
- Eucalyptus might be a better shade of walnut ink for this process because it’s not as intense as Terra Cotta
- Heavily textured clay surfaces don’t take the beeswax as successfully as lightly textured surfaces
- Photo-transfers on clay are not particularly beeswax-friendly because they are not porous enough due to the transfer process
New things I want to try because of these experiments:
- Using the same technique on paper clay to test its absorbancy
- Doing more intricate scoring and carving into the beeswax surface once it’s cooled on the clay
- Heating the beeswax with a heat gun to “drive it” into the clay surface to see what happens to the finish
- Adding metallic wax to the beeswax surface aft it has cooled.
I’ve filed this information away until I need it – probably at one of those “Aha!” moments when I realize that this technique is exactly what I need to complete a work in progress. Or maybe not! But everything you learn doesn’t have to be put to practical use – it’s OK to play.