Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Beyond words

There are mistakes that artist make that I would hope that I can pass along so that others will not make them also...I have mentioned the shelf life of molds but I failed to mention probably that along with the shelf life other issues need to be addressed.

A mold is only good for so long and you have quite an investment involved in that mold as it is your only connection with the edition you are continuing to create until it is gone.

Often artist think (or maybe it was just me) that ok, I need x amount of dollars out of this piece so I have to have at least 50 editions so I can bring the price down so my patrons can afford it.  Well, back to the shelf life of molds. If you are like most sculptors you do not have the money to cast all of an edition at once, therefore you cast as you can afford which may take over a period of time.

I have learned through the years that molds are not forever so I have shortened my edition number considerably mainly because I do not want to have my molds deteriorate before I get the entire edition poured. I have also learned as the time passes I need to be receptive to the fact that I at least need to pour waxes in order to preserve the image towards the end of the shelf life if I see deterioration or liquefying of the mold. If you are checking your molds feel the inside areas and you will detect a distinct softness or even at later stages a liquid substance. This by the way is very difficult to clean from your waxes but it is doable.

In the beginning I had no idea what was happening and would find a mold ruining and would rush to pour as many of the waxes as possible to play salvage. Now I have learned just to shorten my editions so that I am not having to pay the piper later. I store my own molds and have never found that a hot or severely cold storage area is good for molds, nothing seems to deter the aging process (slightly cool has been my best temp).

Try to remember to check your molds ever so often (twice a year) as the seasons change so that you are on top of the conditions and as everything you need to date your molds so that you are aware of just how close you are pushing the shelf life of that mold. It also varies so don't just expect a mold to last five years or eight years or two years check, check and re-check.

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