The Making of a Wolfe Bird

     Each Wolfe Bird begins as a rough concept in the mind of the sculptor - who, for almost all of our birds, is Bebe Wolfe.  Bebe works out the basic form of the bird in clay.  Once the clay model reflects the shape and feeling that she desires, Bebe recreates the figure in wax. 

     The wax stage is where the details of the form emerge; feathers, beak shape, foot and base embellishments, and the like.  When the wax figure is finished, the conceptual stage of the process is complete.
The next step of the process is creating a plaster mold of the wax bird.  This work was originally done in the studio, but is now the only step that takes place outside the Wolfe Studio.  Magnolia Molds creates our molds from the master form, whereupon we pick them up and they finish drying and await use.

     The Wolfe Bird's journey continues into the Clayshed.  The Clayshed crew preps molds for pouring and then fills them with liquid clay, called slip.  As the mold draws moisture out of the slip, a clay shell forms around the inside of the mold.  The crew adds more slip as needed, allowing the mold to sit for varying amounts of time depending on the size of the bird and the thickness desired in the final shape.  Once the clay is thick enough, they pour out the remaining slip and set the clay-filled molds aside to dry.
The glazing section is still under construction - in the meantime, an easy way to learn about the birds' journey from bisque to a finished, glazed bird is to visit our studio!  We love to share the process with curious customers.

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