Step 4:  Making a rubber mold and duplicating clay original in wax

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The clay original is now ready to be molded.

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This mold will be made out of rubber and fiberglass.  First, the rubber is painted on in layers.

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The rubber is built up to a thickness of about 1/4 of an inch and a "part-line" is constructed which will eventually allow the mold to be separated into two parts.

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On top of the two part rubber mold, a two part fiberglass mold is made to support the flimsy rubber.

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The edges of the fiberglass "part-line" flange are now trimmed.

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After the fiberglass is cured and trimmed, it is removed.  (The left side has been removed in this picture.)

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Now the right side of the rigid fiberglass mold has also been removed and the rubber mold is pulled apart exposing the clay owl.

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The original clay sculpture is no longer needed and is removed.

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The rubber and fiberglass mold pieces are put back together without anything inside.

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Hot melted wax is poured into the cavity and then poured out again.  With practice, this allows for the inside of the mold to be coated with an even thickness of wax, about 3/8 of an inch thick.  I now have one hallow, wax casting of the owl.

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After the wax cools and hardens, the fiberglass outer mold and the rubber inner mold are both removed to reveal the 3/8 inch thick wax duplicate of the original clay owl.

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This wax is "chased" (or cleaned up) and then cut into two pieces.  Each piece is attached to a wax "tree" consisting of a solid wax "sprue cup" and "sprues" which are carefully attached to the owl.

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Here is another wax tree with the breast and feet sections of two owls.  Every time a new bronze casting is made of "Spring Snow", it starts with a wax casting from the rubber mold.

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