Making Wax Snakes
by Werner Muhlenberg
Werner Muhlenberg is known as the Snakeman of Brunswick for his fabulous hand made wax snakes. One of the most frequently asked questions at the gallery is how are the snakes made. I asked Werner if he could kindly take some photographs of a snake in progress to help answer these questions and give you a better idea of the work involved in creating each unique snake.
Starting with black wax a baking tray is filled to about 2cm thick and melted using a gas torch.
The wax is cooled until it is no longer liquid but still malleable I then apply three different colours of wax and carefully unite them with the blow torch.
Next I cut out a strip of the wax and mark into it using a special tool to create the snake skin effect.
The piece is first rolled and then stretched out.
The head of the snake is then shaped by pinching the wax out and the eyes are set into place.
Now before the wax goes hard I position the snake around the driftwood (or sometimes other objects) and get it into a realistic position.
Making a Cobra
Making up a Cobra starts with coiling the snakes base, delicately flattening out the neck and gently fixing the tail into place. The snake is then positioned into a lifelike pose, the eyes are insterted and a wick is pushed in through the head. Werners candles are often referred to as "To good to burn!", very true.
Special thanks to Werner's daughter for providing the photography for this piece.
Werner's work that is currently available can be seen in the shop here.