Making and Knowing
A minimal edition of BnF Ms Fr 640 in English Translation

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Second Casting

When you have well molded the first part of the animal, that is to say the back, the spine, and the entire top part, and when the half—mold where the part is encased is hard enough

Figure at left top margin of folio 114r Figure turn over the bottom and the sides of the belly, sometimes using a knife for the thicker parts, and then with a pen—knife for the places where the more fragile parts are encased, like legs, tail, and similar things. Because the head is higher, you will have to dig deeper to expose it and do a deeper notch that has to be well exposed, by enlarging it from the outside, in order for the second mold that you cast on top of it releases well. A process for which the animal himself can be useful because his nature so permits. However, make sure that you reveal the lizard’s throat more than you would do a snake, because the lizard has big jaws and big bones that do not cast as easily, and has deep ears in which the wet sand is not as easy to remove. But you will avoid all of this if you expose half of the head and those things that you know do not release easily. When everything is well exposed, blow over it and wipe each part again with a cloth made of swine hair, slightly dampened into salt water or clear water, do that gently, that way the lower part of your uncovered animal will be very neat. # 🝋 Once it is done, dip the covered side of your mold into water for a pater noster. It will suck water inside, that way when you’ll rub with oil the uncovered side, the oil will remain on the top, and to prevent the second cast which you will cast on top from sticking. Dip your mold into water, take a particularly fine brush and rub with oil the entire mold but the animal; it should not be touched with oil. Make sure to use you brush between the parts and on all the fragile parts. And if by mistake oil is soaked, dip the mold into water, as it is said above, and drop by drop the oil will come back to the top.

at left top margin of folio 114r

Mold small animals as big ones, however, for small animals, use very fine tacks made of cords of cittern, short and long ones.

Figure at left top margin of folio 114r Figure

at left top margin of folio 114r

remove all the little tacks with the help of very small flat pincers. # then + [illegible] # However, leave the tack which is pinned into the throat so that it will help you to turn the head over, because it is sunk deeper than any other part, because when you drew the plan, you put higher up. It is at the level of the head that you must make the biggest notch and you should start at that notch to expose and then keep following by looking at the traces left by the tacks.

at left bottom margin of folio 114r

and if a small piece of nail, or piece of tail, or other fine things separate from the mold, put a little piece of wax between them, and join them with the tip of a hot iron wire, then smooth it in your mold with a knife, and make notches on the sides in order for the other half of the mold to adhere to it. 🝋

Figure at left bottom margin of folio 114r Figure

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This thus prepared, put your first half—mold on the disc of clay, surround it with a clay circle and do a thickness mark similar to the first one. Then, with a rather thick brush, wet with spirits all your animal’s exposed half, without, if possible, missing any part, because therein lies the secret to casting neatly. Then, as fast as possible before the spirits evaporate, soak your sand, and cast it, shaking, blowing, and moving the mold, as you did for the first one, making sure that what you pour first on the animal is clearer than the rest, so that it is soaked everywhere and highlights the finer parts. So, leave it for fifteen minutes so it sets, then remove the clay circle and disc. And, with a knife, join you two molds together in a longish form, like a mandore, as we say, because of how you cast. Then soak a little in water the whole mold up to the level of the joints. Because this is another secret to separate them more easily. Otherwise, you would break everything. Separate them like this skillfully. After this, gently and patiently remove half of the animal still in the mold, pulling it sometimes on one side and sometimes on the other, in order to avoid breaking it, or ruining parts of the mold. The mold, being empty, rejoin both half so that no dust comes in, and put them aside until you want to heat them up, make the runners, the vents and put the clamps. As for the animal, to avoid it drying, and in order to be be able to use it to mold 4 or 5 of times, put it on water. I believe that it would be better preserved in spirits. However, it would be best to make the 4 or 5 molds the same day because these animals rot and will smell within the day. Having left your molds to dry out, for they will stay humid for at least a month, make the vents for one half.

Figure at left top margin of folio 114v Figure

at left top margin of folio 114v

+ Note that once you have made your second casting, if you left your mold without opening it for a day or a night, you would then need to put it into hot water or reheat it, rather than open it, like for the crab.

at left top margin of folio 114v

If after both halfs of the noyau have set and hardened, it would not open if you did not dip it into water. But as you dip the back of your mold into water, oil comes back to the top and touches the joints which separates them.

at left middle margin of folio 114v

However, be sure that your second mold is thick enough, and hard enough otherwise it could break while dipping it into water if you want to open it. To avoid this mistake dip the entire mold into water and rub it everywhere, if the mold has set enough it will harden. Then take both molds with a rough cloth, in order to grip it better. Then strongly separate the molds as if you wanted to tear bread apart. But in case it breaks, rejoin them, and fortifies the joints with clamps.

Figure at middle bottom margin of folio 114v Figure

Figure at right bottom margin of folio 114v Figure

at right bottom margin of folio 114v

Afterwards you can repair the mistakes with a small pair of scissors.