Concrete embryos in wax

Group 1, Assignment 3.

Inspired by the random organic shapes created by metal-in-water casting, we wanted to see if something similar could be achieved with concrete. We carried out three tests where we would pour concrete into liquid wax, a medium with higher viscosity than water which we thought would suit the slow-stiffening nature of concrete. Would the wax allow the conrete to slowly unfold and settle, capturing its fluid form?

Concrete: The basic mix from the assignment was used, adding 2g of red pigment.

Wax: Joel Svenssons Paraffin

Test 1: Hot concrete on medium-hot wax

As it was heated, the concrete turned liquid. We then poured it over medium-hot wax, stiff enough to first support the concrete. As the concrete slowly made the wax melt even more,  concrete shapes and canals started to form. It seems like this happened mostly to the side of the jar where the wax was warmest. The final form is yet to be discovered as it couldn’t be seen through the white wax.


Test 2: Room-temperatured concrete on hot liquid wax

Concrete of normal viscosity was poured into clear liquid wax. As it entered the wax, small sausage-like shapes formed instantly and were stacked into a sculptural pile. A thin skin of white stiffening wax started to form around the concrete, making it resemble fetuses of space creatures (top picture). As the surrounding wax stiffened, we interpreted it as it would help the concrete shape to remain as it was while stiffening.

Test 3: Room-temperatured concrete on hot liquid wax (shaken)

Instead of simply letting it pile up and dry, we wanted to try to move the concrete around while stiffening, perhaps taking new shapes. However, as we shook the jar, the newly formed pile wouldn’t move at all, appearing to have stiffened instantly. Leaving the jar upside-down, we will see if time makes the concrete move a bit further.


The fully-revealed shapes will be presented later.

wax casting


image source:

wax casting

made by: cnc milling, melting, cooling

material: wax


This ‘non-waste-casting’ is made out of industry wax. The desired shape is formed by CNC milling and the material can be fully used again after melting it down. This way of casting is very precise – even for complex geometries.