Life size figure.
Welded steel industrial punch parts.
I start with thin shell molds taken off the live model. In this torso,4 sections. I use Johnson& Johnson Specialist Wrap which is cotton gauze impregnated with plaster,activated by hot water. The models body is lubricated with spray suntan oil after all hair is removed so that the molds will not stick. After the very thin and fragile casts have hardened by air drying for 24 hours,I go about the tedious process of reinforcing the outer surface (of the molds)with more layers of wrap and liquid plaster. Eventually the molds are reinforced enough to remain intact even with the heat of welding and the considerable weight of the steel bits,(in this one about 100 lbs). At this point I'm ready to start placing the bits of scrap steel and MIG weld (wire feed) them together making sure each piece sits flush against the inside surface of the mold. In this labor intensive way the form is slowly built up and the full figure revealed.
Depending on the thickness of the scrap steel bits used, (in this instance they are 3/6 thick),the final welded form can be VERY stout,stout enough to use as an armature and forge another layer of metal OVER this form. That is what I did with my piece titled "Form Follows Function". [link]
It has been forged and hot hammered over this piece then after the whole figure enclosed, it is cut away and re-welded into a new sculpture...
I am currently using this form to make a third sculpted figure but this time in scrap 1/8th inch thick sheet silicon bronze.