This summer I am taking a lost wax casting class at a local art college. It is something I have wanted to try for many years.
I must say I have really enjoyed carving this material, so much easier than dealing with wood grain. It is a good portable project too as long as the weather is not so hot your wax melts.
Another material I am learning to carve is Plaster of Paris. My friends, "The Guys from Texas" have told me much about it as they carve it for details for their roombox projects then make molds and cast the pieces in resin. This technique of carving in plaster then molding in resins is used by most of the high end dollhouse builders. I am surprised by how easy and pleasant it is to carve. First mix up your plaster into the basic size form you need then let it cure at least a full day before you begin carving. But be sure to complete the carving in a day or two or the plaster becomes more difficult to carve.
Plaster is very inexpensive. Dental tools can be used as well as wax carving tools, wood carving tools and files. I put a sharp, beveled cutting edge on my dental and wax carving tools.
One of these days if all goes well I will have a bronze sea monster to show on the blog.