Materials, techniques and procedures

28th June 2017

Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Facultad de Bellas Artes
C\ Pintor el Greco nº 2


Registration form

WAX MODELLING WORKSHOP: Materials, techniques and procedures

Workshop title: Ceroplasty workshop: Materials, techniques and procedures.

Directors: Elena Blanch and Xavier Mas-Barberà

Dates and timetable: 28th June 2017. From 9:30-14:00 and from 15:30-19:00

Total duration of workshop: 8 hours

Place: Facultad de Bellas Artes. Aula de medallas.

Number of places available: minimum of 12 students, maximum of 25 students.

Student profile: The workshop is aimed at curators, sculptors, restorers, designers, botanists, historians and the public interested in this matter. No prior knowledge is required.

Price: 120€ before 30th May; 160€ after 30th May (all the materials needed for the workshop and meals are included).


  • Carmen Marcos Martínez, Sculpture Department at Universitat Politècnica de València.
  • Horacio Romero Becerra, Sculpture Department at Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


  • Madina Azahara Rodríguez. Universitat Politècnica de València
  • Soraya Triana Hernández. Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Since ancient times the use of wax as a material has been intimately linked with plastic creation and the preservation of the past, whether it be objects or even memories, as in the Roman maiorum images.

The need to create didactic models that resembled or imitated as much as possible reality led to cooperation between two disciplines, sculpture and medicine. As a result of this collaboration, wax anatomical models emerged in the seventeenth century, which allowed medical students to manipulate each part of the human body in a three-dimensional way. Otherwise, it would have been impossible due to the obstacles and prohibitions imposed by the Catholic Church in relation to direct anatomical study with human bodies.

Nowadays, it is a material that continues to be present in contemporary creation, either as transit material or definitive, due to its malleability and the possibilities if offers in terms of qualities and transparencies, characteristics difficult to achieve with other materials. In spite of this, the intricacies related to the procedures and techniques of the ceroplastic are bathed in a veil of mystery, due to the secrecy with which each artisan kept his formula of work.

Taking all these ideas as a starting point, this intensive workshop aims to shed some light on some of the technical and material aspects involved in the process of ceroplastic creation.

About the workshop

The workshop will be theoretical and practical. Students will be introduced to the basic concepts of working with wax as sculpture material, ornaments and similar objects.

The workshop will be divided in three sessions:

  • In the first part the student will be introduced to the following basic theoretical contents: Wax as material, techniques and procedures of wax sculpture and, finally, there will be a section related to safety and good practices when working with wax.
  • Afterwards, a series of practical demonstrations will be made related to: wax preparation (colouring and modelling), casting and, finally, the finishing and protection of wax works.
  • To conclude the workshop, the student will be able to practice the knowledge acquired, either by creating his or her own objects or by using casts and pieces present in the classroom.

The workshop will be supervised by the teachers and their collaborators.


  1. Bring students closer to the basic techniques and procedures of ceroplasty, both theoretically and practically.
  2. Learn the different practical applications that ceroplasty has in the field of sculpture and restoration.
  3. Provide students the fundamental notions of health and safety, within the practical processes of ceroplasty.

Theoretical contents

The theoretical blocks of the workshop are: "Wax", "Techniques", "Working procedures" and "Safety and health in the use of hot waxes and workshop practices".

Below follows a detailed description of the contents within each block.

  1. Wax
    1. Types and properties
    2. Wax pastes. Additives
  2. Techniques
    1. Casting in plaster / silicone
    2. Modelling
    3. Wax carving
    4. Case studies
  3. Working procedures
    1. Tools, machinery and prototyping
    2. Preparation and application. Reinforcement
    3. Finishes. Colour and textures. Ornaments
  4. Safety and health in the use of hot waxes and workshop practices.

Practical content

Within the practical section the student will attend a series of demonstrations of techniques and materials related to ceroplastics. Then each of the attendees will be able to experiment directly with these materials, with the supervision of teachers and their collaborators.

The practices developed will focus on:

  • Preparation of waxes. Colouring and modelling in soft waxes.
  • Casting of waxes in plaster. Layering. Sheets and decorations.
  • Finishes in wax and protection of the finished piece.

Topics to be developed in creations: mythological, anatomical, animal and floral.



Professionals: 120 € (Until May 30, 2017. After 160 €).

It includes meals, coffees and documentation.


Please send an email including the following information to waxmodelling@ucm.es

  • Surnames:
  • Name:
  • Institution:
  • Departament:
  • Address:
  • Location:
  • Country:
  • Postal Code:
  • E-mail:
  • Phone:


  • By bank transfer to the account of the Anatomical Society of Spain (SAE)
    Caja de Duero: IBAN ES20 2104 0000 1430 3001 4473
  • Credit Card:

Please state the full name of the attendee.

If paying for more than one delegate please state each name in full.

Attach proof of payment.