My output from a three week project exploring Skin & Bones. I wanted to work in the sculpture room since I started at UCA, so I was really excited to take up the challenge of making a candle in the shape of a hand. Not only that, but I wanted to make it in the style of a candelabra, with the wicks coming out of the fingertips, thread through into the hand and down the wrist.
Firstly, I used alginate to make a mould from a model's hand, then made replica hand in plaster. Next, I used silicon to make a thick mould around the plaster hand. Once set, I made a plaster mould around the outside to support the silicon. After the moulds were split and the original plaster hand retrieved, I melted wax and made a thin skin by pouring it in and out the mould several times. I then carefully removed the hand, drilled through the fingertips and threaded the wicks. I then put the hand back into the silicon mould, making sure the wicks didn't get unthreaded. Unfortunately, at this point the two smallest fingers snapped off(!) but I hoped it could be mended by putting the hand back together in the mould and pouring in the rest of the wax. Once the wax was cool, I cracked the mould to free the candle. At this point it was clear that I had accidentally trapped a loop of wick on the outside of the hand from where one of the fingers snapped off.
This was a very challenging make but I'm pleased with the outcome. I learnt new skills and had the opportunity to work with new materials.