Friday, September 10, 2010
MY NEW BEST FRIENDS: A Wax Injector and 1,954 Moulds
In about 1976, Ivaan started making rubber moulds of his creations as a record of what he had done. He didn't make a mould of everything, but he did make moulds of 1,954 of them. Rubber moulds usually last about 10 years, but some of Ivaan's moulds are over 30 years old and still able to produce waxes. I'm sure the reason for this is that Ivaan rarely used them. He just kept them as a record of what he had done. While he loved to admire his vintage pieces, he always had something new and exciting brewing in his head and never reprised his earlier work. I guess this is the hallmark of a true artist. Fortunately for the world, I am no artist, and having recently counted and categorized his rubber moulds, I decided to invest in a wax injector so I could make a wax copy of each of the 1,954 pieces.
Once in a television interview, Ivaan said, "I can hardly wait to wake up in the morning. There's always something hot cooking. My big thrill is to crack open a mould." I now know exactly what he meant. It is incredibly exciting opening a mould and seeing a wax replica of one of his vintage works of art. I'm especially loving his work from the 1980s. Some of the bracelets are incredibly beautiful. And the reason I've never seen them before is that the best ones are owned by his clients, who are all over the world.
Learning to operate a wax injector is not easy. There are many variables to consider: the type of wax, the temperature of the melted wax, the PSI (air pressure), the condition of the rubber mould, the complexity of the design. Right now the wax injector sits in the kitchen, looking like a very industrial food processor. But I've successfully produced several dozen waxes so far. I wonder how old I'll be by the time I've successfully injected all of them. I'll never be an artist, but thanks to Ivaan's foresight in preserving this record of his work, I am beginning to understand the thrill of creation. So, thank you, Ivaan, for leaving me this project. You feel so totally present when I'm working on preserving your legacy.