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A Wax Figure Mill

A Wax Figure Mill image
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"Come down here, Sweet Marie, and let me nnlace yon. ' ' A customer in one of the Sixth avenue shops was startled by the above remark, and turning saw one of the clerks removing a dainty black corset from the wax bust that stands all day in the shop window looking out at the passengers on the elevated road. The clerk explained that she and the other girls m that department had gi ven names to each of these waxen figui-es. "They scem almost alive to ns, " said she. Most of the wax figures used for this purpose are no longer imponed, but are made in this city. The manufacturer has bis workrooms in Canal street. A reporter who visited the place at flrst fancied he had entered the dressing room of some living pictures. Directly opposite the door sat a figure clothed only in a suit of woven underwear and a pair of high heeled slippers. In a far corner sat another figure ciad in black tights. There were soveral other figures in wax standing about the room, but the long lashes nevcr qnivered over the bright eyes, nor did teó s:niling lips relax, nor the pink finsh cu the cheeks dcepen at the coming of a strauger in their mulst. The proprietor gave an interesting accouut of how a wax ilgure is born into iijo wurm, ix1 ií an lücuan warnor or a society belle wearing a riding habit and eeated ou a horse's back. He has made over 300 wax mode Is in eight years. He says thafc a beautiful arm is about the most difflcult thing to fmd in a model. There was a dimpled wax one, with a tiny, flowerlilie hand, fas tened to oue of the ladies in tights. It was not molded from the cast of a professional model 's arm, but from that of a girl who worked up stairs. When she found she had an arm that could earu more money from being beautiful than it could by its skill in work, she went away to become a professional model as to arms. Bnt this artist in wax has six models of the perfect arm, so it isn't likely that his waxen women will ever be "Venus de Milos. ' ' In making a v;ax figure the pose of the living model is first arrangcd. Then a clay model i.s made from the living one. Over the :lay model is formed the piaster cast, When this is hard, the melted wax, which has prevïously been colorea me esireri üesh tint, is poured in and left lo harden to a certain thickness. Then t)ie niperfluous wax, which has not yet cooled, is poured out, and the proper thickness is given to the piaster cast shaped like the living model. ■ The hair is put on one hair at a time, and with due regard to the way it should grow. This work is done by five young women. The delicate work of melting the wax out of the eye sockets and from between the lips, tinting the lips and cheeks and fastening in the eyes and teeth is left f or the artist. The eyes used are much like those in a wax doll, but the teeth are as natural as the dentist's skill can rnakc them. Wheu a figure is ordered to advertise a corset, the model must lace herself in one of the corsets to be advertised as tightly as women pictnred in a fashion paper. It is therefore necessary that the model shall be bnilt ou different lines from those who usually pose for painters. The price cf a life size figure is from $100 to $200. Fora bnst the price is $40. Repairs cost $0 er $7 a year, for, unlike real flesh and blood beauties who thrive on admiration, these big wax dolls become worn and f ad: d from being exhibited. At such times they are sent back to the artist in a box to be freshened up. One of these great boxes stood in the corner of the vzorkroom the other day. Insido was a beantífnl figure in fencing costume. Her heád was thrown back, her arched foot was thrown forward and her lovely arms held in proper positiou for a bout witli the foils. The artist will mend the broken finger, fix the hair, totich up the flesh tints, arrange the oostunie and give the figure a lifelike poise. Then she will be put. in the box and sent to her owner, with a bilí for $6. If you aak the artist where he fonnd the model for his cherubs, he will only sinile and say, '.'I never give the names of my models, " bnt it would be a fair guess toconclude that his favorite model for that bit of dimpled work is his own


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News