Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Creepy ... masks, wax and styrofoam.

In my previous blog I mentioned that acrylic paint takes ages to dry on styrofoam. I was experimenting with something.

I like burning scented candles, but had a huge collection of almost burnt-out ones. I melted them down in a saucepan in the kitchen and poured the wax into the styrofoam frame around my three masks which I made almost 10 years ago now, and here is the result:

It's okay if you think it's kind of nasty. I would have to agree with you. But it was a fun experiment.

When it dried, the edges of the wax seemed to disconnect from the styrofoam frame, and I don't know why that is. Also, there was water in there too, which I had to drain off by picking the thing up and turning it over slightly. Of course when melting the wax I was curious to see what would happen if I put half a cup of water in there - it bubbled up madly and I assumed the water evaporated away, but maybe that wasn't the case. But I like how the surface of the wax is crinkly in places, like old skin or something.

I imagine I broke a few health and safety rules making this, but playing with fire is, I suppose, part and parcel of making art. One of the boys in art college enjoyed painting figures on his canvases, and then spilling turpentine on the canvas surface and lighting it up to see what would happen, and he got some very striking results. Of course, he did that out of doors in the courtyard. Not sure if he actually had permission for it. I know other artists work on a painting in the conventional way and then take a blow-torch to it.

The masks were plaster of Paris painted with acrylic, plaster of Paris, and cardboard. I wonder how it would look if I applied a little glitter ....

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