Thursday, January 22, 2009
Before the advent of plastic, wax was sometimes used as a medium for the heads on children's dolls. It couldn't stand up to rough play, but then again neither could porcelain. Wax was also popular as a material to make Nativity creche characters, and full-sized wax figures were used as shop mannequins well into the 20th century. What was most lovely about all of them was how pigments, hair, and glass eyes could be used to really bring them to life. Although they've fallen out of favor commercially, wax figures are still beloved by artists as focal points for altars and other projects.
We've got some lovely wax doll's heads and Christ child sets at Castle in the Air. I commissioned them to be made from antique molds when I was in Germany last winter -- they're a Castle in the Air exclusive. John McRae took the decorating chalks we sell at the store and put a little color in their cheeks, painted their lips and eyes, and otherwise rejuvenated these reminders of a distant time. People have been excited to see the cherubic heads here, so we're planning to expand our selection of embellishments soon.