Being a bit OCD and having far too many interests, I’ve found myself suffering the “White Whale” on more than one occasion. “Call me Ishmeal…,” and all that. More appropriately, “Call me Ahab.” I become fixated, but I’m also lucky enough to recognize that character
flaw trait. 😉 This led to an art project I had been considering for several years: a paper mâché whale made out of the pages from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick; or, The Whale. I even acquired an old copy of the book for use in the project. Then I thought, “Why paper mâché? Why not cast it in bronze?!” (I hope you see the irony in all of this.)
So, back in late 2014, I started sculpting an appropriate whale out of modeling clay. Then I made a silicone mold of the clay model so that I could create a wax copy. The wax copy was entombed in sand and plaster before being fired for several days in a kiln, which causes the wax to melt and drain away. (This is what’s known as a “lost wax casting” process.) Bronze was poured in January of 2015 [link to video], and I spent several more weeks to finish the whale.
Weighing in at just over 18 lbs, my White Whale is displayed on a shelf in our house to regularly remind me that fixations can be taken too far. Just ask Captain Ahab.