-By Tim Bruckner
With the basic clays approved (see The Kiss: Part 1), I made a set of waste molds to cast parts in wax. Waste molds are molds using small cubes of old molds or left over cured rubber as filler with new rubber. They just need to be good enough and last long enough to produce a set of waxes.
I was in the vast, uncharted land of Guessville when starting work on their portraits. There was no reference for either character kissing. And a kiss is not simply a kiss. There’s a lot behind it and you have to know what’s behind it, emotionally, to reveal it physically. I knew he was going to be the biggest challenge, so started his portrait first. Jim Lee’s work is so style specific one has to be cautious about how much naturalism to include in its interpretation. I went through five variations before I got one that Jim felt worked.
With the statue now in wax sections, I could work each one separately, refining and correcting as I went along. Superman is the anchor in this piece so I needed to finish him first, referencing Wonder Woman as I went. With the Master Wax of his body approved, I made a master RTV mold and cast a resin. There are a couple of ways to fit parts to parts; a keyed fit or a contour fit. A keyed fit is often used when two flat or angled parts need to line up together. A contour fit is used when one part needs to fit over, or next to, a sculpted shape. All fourteen parts of this statue were assembled with contour fit parts. With Superman as a resin, I could contour fit Wonder Woman’s body to his.
Superman’s cape is made up of two pieces. This is the roughed main wax part. Once I have a resin, I’ll contour fit the second part to it.
Both character’s bodies have been molded and resin cast as well as Superman main cape piece. I’ve fit the second cape piece to the resin cape. Still playing with the length of his neck and head position.
Wonder Woman’s portrait came together pretty well. The biggest challenge was how to deal with her hair. In the art, it’s a mass of curls that would obscure her profile from the reverse. I kept much of the volume from the art but swept it back a little so we could get a clear view of her likeness from the back or the statue.
With all the elements molded, I made a set of working casts to double check the fit of all the pieces together. If there needed to be any small adjustments, I could use a hair dryer to warm the resin and reposition a part to a part for correction.