Fighting with a wax injector
My New Year’s resolution this year was to learn a bunch of new technical skills that would enhance my art practice of making dolls. Specialization is good, but diversifying one’s skills opens new doors to creativity and discourages stagnation. Creating a large, porcelain Enchanted Doll this winter/spring, had given me a fantastic opportunity to expand my skill set, but I also decided to learn the art of wax injecting.
When I decide to learn something, I usually jump in with both feet and commit 100%. So, I bought all the necessary injection equipment and began to practice. While my new wax injector and I are still getting to know each other, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. Until I tried my new Brocade corset moulds. They were difficult to inject and it took me nearly 6 hours of non-stop injections to figure out why I was failing. I tried different temperature settings, I experimented with pressure and viscosity, I tried every method of clamping I could think of….nothing was working.
I knew the mould was entirely injectable, since my jewelry technician had already pulled a few decent waxes from it earlier. It was all about the subtleties of the injection technique, while my failure to succeed at something I just started was totally normal. Still, the fact that I was failing over and over again for 6 straight hours without seeming to progress even a little, was really unsettling me.
I was baffled at my uncharacteristic inability to make it work, because grasping the basics of how something works usually comes easier to me. It shocked me that my most sincerest, consistent efforts were not being rewarded with some measure of success as they usually are. And that’s what I mean about reaching a certain level of skill and comfort, and then plateauing and eventually stagnating without new challenges.
Long story short, I eventually got it to work, but the experience of prolonged failure really took me down a notch. Like they say; When at first you don’t succeed – try and try, and try again.
I really love my new wax injector, by the way. While before I had to rely on someone else to inject my rubber jewelry moulds, now I can do it myself. Having said this, doing everything yourself is not always the most efficient or the right way, because it takes time to get very good at something. Sometimes one just has to let the specialists do their special things which the rest of us can’t or won’t. We always have to consider the ratio of returns on one’s investments.
But in this case, I think that having this wax injector was worth the investment of a 6 hour learning curve. Although in truth, it will take me years to become an injecting virtuoso. The main thing is that it will ultimately enhance my art practice by injecting a new dose of creative freedom into it, and that ladies and gentlemen, is what it’s all about.
This entry was posted on Thursday, June 5th, 2014 at 6:05 pm
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