Khailee’s Wax Sculpture Experiment: Part 1

dontlook

Today, I will detail my adventures with wax.

I’ll be going into detail about how I made that, and how you can try it, too. I will also talk a bit about why it is named “natural camouflage”.

How It Began

It was the aftermath of a massive party.

I was removing candle wax spilt on my living room floor.

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Haha no, that’s not my floor (and it wasn’t me!)

That’s Matthew Barney, Bjork’s husband. I fell asleep watching his Cremaster Cycle in Sydney, 2004. However, I was at his exhibition at SFMOMA in 2006, and he blew me away…

He split so much wax on the floor! And created such beautiful landscapes with it.

Unlike Matthew Barney, I was interested in cleaning up the wax.

So I Googled for the smartest way to clean it and tried a couple of things…  one of the tricks was: “While the candle wax is liquid on the floor, use old newspaper to absorb it”.

Silly me put a paper towel on it instead, and I had a REALLY STUCK lil puddle of wax on the floor.

I resorted to using a spatula of sorts to scrape it off.

It was then I noticed the paper towel holding together the shards of wax… I had accidentally created the humble beginnings of my journey with wax sculptures (which my cleaner threw away the next day).

The next logical step

Like most of my ideas, this idea swam in my head… and like the few special ideas swimming in my head… this one idea kept drumming at me, and never let go.

To think… if I let different kinds of paper soak up hot wax, I could create moldable waxy sheets as a good medium for all sorts of unthinkable sculptures!

3 years ago, Matthew Barney opened my eyes to the beauty of wax. Now is my chance to create it.

And that is the basis of my wax experiment.

So.

Why did I choose paper and wax?

  • It’s fast to create
  • As a medium, I have a degree of control and flexibility
  • I find it so beautiful!

Imagine the possibilities…

  • different colors of wax
  • soaking up wet wax with different papers / materials
  • make a few pieces, and joining them together with more wax

And other ideas, like

  • using cigarettes as the structural support for the wax sculptures
  • perhaps spray painting the final wax sculpture
  • mixing organic elements (like a bunch of 4 leaf clovers) into the hot wax

There’s so much I can do!

But I had to start somewhere…

Day 1 of the wax experiment.

I’m in my back yard, 7am on a chilly Friday morning.

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I set up a simple workstation on the ground, using a piece of kitchen counter I found in my store room.

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I lit my candles.

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And sat around like an idiot till the candles melted.

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I then spill the hot wax onto the “floor”, and blotted it up with 3 different kinds of paper.

Beginning with black “sugar” paper.

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Then with brown sugar paper.

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Then with thin, white paper.

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And lastly, with my original paper towels (no picture).

Apart from the paper towels, all the papers were way too thick to absorb any of the wax!

See? It doesn’t soak in.

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Useless! Do not use these papers.

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In the future, I’ll stick only to paper towels, or experiment with very absorbent papers.

Good thing I managed to get some good shards of wax, or “wax crystals” for later use.

shards

Ok.

Now I didn’t get many more pictures of what happened after this, because

  1. My hands were partially glazed in hot wax
  2. I completely forgot

But it’s kinda simple.

What I did was…

  1. I let the paper towel absorb the hot wax.
  2. While the wax is hot, I dumped a bunch of crystals on it to create texture.
  3. I let it dry, then scraped the sheet off.

For my first sculpture, I rolled the crystal infused sheet of wax up.

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What I ended up with looked like a wax condom for small animals (no picture)

Since phallic worship is kinda passe, I topped it off with a melted a cap full of wax crystals…

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A fair bit bit of details in bending the shape, and melting crystals here and there…

And the first product was out of the lab.

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So why did I named it “natural camouflage”?

Take a guess.

Test how artsy f
artsy you are.

I’ll reveal the answer soon, so you better be guessing right now.

..

..

Ok.

You see, the original shape was very obviously penis-like, and my natural reaction was to make it not look so penis-like.

Why is it my natural reaction to “cover up” something which came so naturally? Is it very wrong to make penis-looking objects? What was I afraid of? What does this say about modern society?

Whatever.

All I knew, was it was a very natural reaction for me, hence “natural camouflage”.

And this concludes part 1 of my wax sculpture experiment.

In Part 2, I will talk about

  • How to set my wooden deck on fire.
  • The debut of Sculpture # 2, titled “Root”… something I created the very same morning.
  • More pictures of “Natural Camouflage” and “Root”
  • My next experiment… and how you I need your help

Till then.

11 comments on “Khailee’s Wax Sculpture Experiment: Part 1

  1. kenneth March 12, 2008 1:41 am

    kekeke..what a waste, after waiting the wax to melt you wasted on those 3 papers.dont waste the pics so post it up 😛

  2. Kris Khaira March 12, 2008 6:08 am

    lol very creative and funny article. crazy shit… next time melt cheap candles in an old can can it’s cheaper.

  3. Joanne March 13, 2008 10:26 am

    hmm. was it phallic shame? 😉

  4. Joanne March 13, 2008 10:29 am

    My comment was cut short. Stupid oversensitive laptop touchpad. I intended to say – wax sculpturing looks like a lot of fun.

    Now. What’s next on the wax menu?

  5. khailee March 13, 2008 5:04 pm

    more penises. what else. haha

  6. John March 14, 2008 5:58 am

    I love it! Sotheby’s NOW!

  7. amy March 16, 2008 11:34 am

    i thought u looked like the creative kind… and i was right =p

  8. carrot March 16, 2008 4:20 pm

    nice work! 🙂

  9. troisnyxétienne August 30, 2008 3:32 am

    Love this. Looks like some really withered thing. Like me.

    Melt it into a person and who knows, it’d go to Madame Tussauds soon enough.

  10. Term Paper April 2, 2009 6:08 pm

    oh what a fantastic article..so cute one. I like this article.i think you are a creative type of person.It was a very natural reaction for me.

  11. genette November 9, 2009 9:15 pm

    you can try to use brown paper but you need to iron it off when dry, better when on a carpet or towel its what you do in textiles work it sinks in to the paper well. hope that helps some what. x

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