Recipe for disaster: How injecting hot wax into eggs wound me up in Emergency.

Never let it said that I don’t suffer for my art.

Let’s tell this story Tarantino style and start at the end. With the hospital referral letter.

Now. Flash back to three hours earlier.


It was a rainy Saturday afternoon, and I was filling eggs with victory brown wax so that they would survive the bronze casting process. This involved…

1. Blowing the eggs

2. Melting the wax (Yum yum! Looks like chocolate!)

3. Pouring the wax… unsuccessfully. It was going everywhere. I needed a more efficient wax delivery system.

4. For example… an INJECTION system! I bolted through the rain to the chemist, and bought a large number of plastic syringes.

5. This process worked superbly. I called in my long-suffering other half to take photographs… I would suck the wax into the syringe straight from the saucepan and inject it into a small hole at the top of the egg.

6. Can we all guess what happened next?

Well, the wax solidified and created a blockage in the syringe. I pushed a little too hard and it ERUPTED. All over me.


I can barely look at this photo.

That’s wax covering my hand, wrist, and two of my knuckles. My hand looked like something out of Star Trek.

After 45 minutes of denial (“I don’t want to go to hospital I don’t want to go to hospital I don’t want to go to hospital” shake shake shake sob sob sob) we asked Dr Google what he thought and he said I should go to hospital:

– Is the burn bigger than a 20c piece? Yes.
– Is the burn blistering? Yes!
– Is the burn covering your hands? YES.
– Is the burn covering joints? YESSSS?!?!


The hospital was very kind. Admittedly, they weren’t the ones who had to spend two hours picking wax off their tortured, blistering, peeling skin. I feel ill just thinking about it.

Here’s some nice “after” photos of my tortured hand and the eggs which caused all the trouble.

So, what now?

I’m off to the burns unit tomorrow, and I’m hoping and praying that they will tell me that nothing more needs to be done and I can go back to using my left hand. Otherwise?

I actually don’t want to consider the possibilities. I guess I’ll have to defer my course as you can’t do sculpture one-handed. I’m semi-joking/semi-serious about getting a series of humorous sock puppets to wear on my bandaged hand. Could be amusing.

But I really, really, really like my left hand. And I want it back. Please come back, little hand! I promise I’ll look after you better from now on. Pretty please?


~ by Niccola on March 15, 2010.

4 Responses to “Recipe for disaster: How injecting hot wax into eggs wound me up in Emergency.”

  1. you poor thing. did you at least fill the eggs?

    I think the sock puppet is a fab idea! I had to wear knee braces for a couple of months and was pretty down about it… until my work mates brought in hot glue and felt! made me smile about an otherwise unpleasant situation every time I looked down :)

  2. ouch!
    what doesnt kill you makes you stronger…i think it goes something like that.

    hope it gets better soon.

  3. […] The last time I mentioned my bronze casting project, it was in the context of racing to the emergency ward of my local hospital with hot sculpting wax burns. Remember that? […]

  4. […] realising my work in bronze. It was a process that I described in incredible depth at the time. (Here, here, here and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: