Re: direct modeling without an armature: can i do it with wax?
Thanks... I'd be a bit active about trying to find a place to cave stone [though NYC is tough], but I'm actually going to have studio space soon, as I'm going from an architecture program (at the over-rated elite institution of cooper union) to a sculpture program (at pratt)--starting in February... not sure if that came across in one of my posts somewhere. Meanwhile, I'm heading down to florida for the next three weeks and am buying some stones and will be carving.
I'm not terribly worried about structuring my life around carving--it's just no matter what, living in the city has its limitations. You can't, at a moment's inspiration, go out into some garage and start hacking away at something...
w/r/t wax. I've been working with it now for a little while, and I'm very happy with it. It's a wonderful material, and though the proces is slowed by th ened to warm or cool it, the possibilities are so much greater than using an armature, and the work seems to have much more life in it when you don't start out with a bent stick figure, and when you can very nicely swith between additive and subtractive when necessary. I could go on and on... I really would only use wax if it worked for all poses and allowed rapid study of the figure--true studies as nothing but studies and with economy of method being the most important thing, so you /don't/ get caught up in details of material worries [like wax hardening or not sticking together, or earth clays driyng out or having to tweak their consistencies]...
w/r/t wax once more: I imagine hot summer days are a problem for some poses (though not all), but, from what I've been working with I don't see why a permanent piece (in so far as, say, a charcoal drawing is permanent--obviously it wont last like an oil paining will) couldn't be created if I worked with harder waxes (I'm using Victory Brown microcrystaline right now)... Maybe not as permanent as stone, but that can be accomodated for in the nature of the work. I do think there's possibility for wax in the fine arts... though maybe storage and display conditions may need more attention.