Q: When you make the 2 layer refractory mold can you submerge it to help remove the wax mold?
A: As shown, we typically peel the wax out of the 2 layer mold, but I can’t think of why it wouldn’t work with water & it’s worth trying. For some forms, this may be gentler on the mold, if it works well. Part of what makes the water effective from the plaster mold is the temperature change in the wax once the liquid wax has been poured off. It’s an efficient way to cool the model, release it cleanly & work in multiples.
Q: Can you make the 2 part mold in advance and submerge to hydrate prior to packing the mold?
A: Yes. We do this regularly. Submerge the dry mold in water until bubbles stop coming up from the mold. Then wrap the exterior of the mold in wet paper towels & plastic wrap to help keep the moisture in while packing the mold with glass. If working on a smaller piece that can be packed within an hour or so, wrapping the mold may not be necessary.
Q: Also they use a bed of sand to level the mold. Can a ring mold up on stilts be used like in the 3 Deep molds instead of the sand?
A: Sure. I’ve done this before with a conical mold. Fiber paper (new or burned out) can also work here, especially if the mold has a flat spot. How the mold is supported is another variable to keep track of as it may affect how the piece fires.
Q: Can "Liquid Stringer" media be used? Any other alternatives to the gum arabic?
A: I don’t have any direct experience using Liquid Stringer as a binder, but it would be worth trying. You may need a different amount than shown in the videos to get a mix that works well, which is part of the experimentation of it all. While packing, overall moisture and tamping are important as well as having some sort of a “glue”. Other binders I’ve heard mentioned with some success (though again, without direct experience) include CMC (Carboxymethyl cellulose) & watered down wallpaper paste. Glastac can also work, though I think might be better with some forms than others – it’s not as sticky, but might do the trick with the right project. The frit mix should come off of the spoon pretty easily & if it’s too sticky, add water.
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