Let me first say I love doing this creative wax work. OK, so call it a lust. I absolutely satisfy my need for a concentrated work environment where I can work in total immersion of what I am making. It also involves a relatively complex selection of tools and processes to complete a project with just the right difficulty that I enjoy.
I wouldn’t have set still long enough as a younger man but at my age and health, it is a wonderful way to spend time. (I had other lusts then.) Each item I make truly contains a part of me through my total effort. It is far different than building a kit or from plans where I am simply duplicating someone else’s design.
In lost wax casting, I am duplicating a process other people have done for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. But the item’s existence will be totally from my effort, even if it is a Celtic Knot that has been a known design for centuries.
At this writing I am not yet great at this work but I am getting more competent. My goal is not to make an item that looks factory made. I want the look and function to be very good but not lose the sense that there is individual human effort in the creation. That will never be an excuse for lack of quality workmanship.
There is so much cheap factory made art; it’s one of my considerations when I decide to make something. I ask myself how will what I make stand apart from a cheap import or other mass production effort. What I’m thinking is, “How do I display the artist effort in the design”?
Perhaps I need to develop a personal style. I don’t know if that can be planned but I hope it develops to a recognizable degree. I think style is always subject to change as my interests do. Style could be something of how I finish or choice of subject. I’ll just let it roll.
I think this standard blog format is a good presentation media. I am not doing the detailed step by step “how-to” documentation here in Dimensional Art Org that I do with my machine shop websites.
I’ll post different stages of a development, if only for my own record and to show some of the effort required making a piece. A finished wax before spruing and casting is an example.
Expensive or complex projects would benefit from production photographs to prove the province of the piece. A series of development photos in a blog can be proof of authenticity.
If I get the urge to explain a project construction in detail, I post a link to one of my “Studio” sites where I will have all the messy details.
This is my first attempt at wax carving and lost wax casting. These were cast together in one investment. As you see it went rather well. The material is Sterling Silver. There is about a Troy ounce of silver here, about 31.1 grams.
I really enjoy the creative process and plan on doing a lot more of this. It wont make me rich but I can always aim for fame.
There is an art and craft guild located here in the Dallas Texas area. They are called the “Craft Guild of Dallas” and have been around since October, 1948. That makes me not quite two years older than the Guild. The history goes back a bit farther (pre WWII) but under a different name.
Today my daughter Shel and I joined the Craft Guild and we will be taking a wax carving and lost wax casting class starting in September (2013). The class runs 3 hours once a week for two months.
Shel took a glass bead making class over a year ago at the guild and has since install a studio in her home for glass work.
We won’t become experts but I like to think we will be starting off in the right direction. If I like what I can do, I’ll get more serious about tools and equipment. This has been something I have studied and have spent many years reading books on the process. I am sure I will take a serious liking.
Training like this is good for exploring interest. What is nice (I think) is that it is not just an isolated class but an actual group of professional and semi-professional experts. It has the right “stuff” for anyone who wants take their personal art skills more seriously. There are also no age barriers.
I think I have at last found the identity for my creative desires. It has been with me all my life as I have been chanting or at least thinking the artist mantra for what seems forever. It is the reason this web site/blog exists. There is an artist spirit inside me fighting to get out, buried in the guise of a hobbyist.
I never viewed myself until recently as a true artist. But in the naked truth, that is what lives inside me. I think I repressed art as a true and honorable profession for myself, but I think I have been missing the point.
Art is truly an opinion created from what is seen by the eye of the beholder. That first sentence is a metaphor. Today I believe everything created is a form of art not just what is seen by the eye. The defining what is good art is a classification by human opinion. All opinions are biased by the experience of the person making the judgment. That’s just the way it works.
Art is like a particle in quantum physics. If you try to define what or where it is, it doesn't exist or isn't there anymore. It may even be a single particle in two places at once. Ha!
Professional art critics are biased to their own taste, a point of preference but nothing more. The best advice for collectors today is to buy what you like and enjoy it. Investing for profit is another gig.
So... even what is bad art (in my opinion) is still art. I just classify it as BAD art. I can live with that.
I posted a motto at the banner on this site that sums up my feeling of creating enjoyable art and what sharing it is all about. “Do what you love for those who love what you do.”
It is time for me to come out of the art closet and identify myself as an artist. I can make the claim. It’s up to those who love what I do to confirm I deserve the title. Let the critics be damned, full speed ahead! Aye, Capt'n
Pictured is a new pen I made today. This one goes to a friend who first discovered the parts were available. What I made was the wood barrel (turned on a mini lathe) and hand finished. Then I assembled the parts. An interesting thing with this pen is the kit maker shows every one of his pens with the bolt handle assembled 180 degrees rotated the wrong way. The bolt handle is pointing up. This reversed position is because it interferes slightly with the pocket clip when in the proper bolt action position that I prefer. My opinion is the clip is a minor concern and the pen is not a style a user is likely to clip in a shirt pocket. Many other makers also make this correction.
Here are other pens I made several weeks ago. There is a construction series in my other blog, The Hobbyist Workshop.
These pens are fun to make and there are endless possibilities of materials that can be used. For some people pen making is a full time occupation. Individual pens can sell for $30.00 to hundreds of dollars. Special sets and holders, far more than that.
I plan on making pens for as long as I can. I have two more bolt locks to make right now.