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

- - - - - folio image: 130v - - - - -

Molding a crab

It is a secret and a masterpiece to mold [a crab] well because it is necessary to proceed differently [than you would] with other animals, because its shell is quite difficult to […] and that is why it is necessary to reheat the mold three or four times. And on top of all that, it leaves a hard crust [that is] gray like ash. It is not molded from one piece and one cast as [is done with] plants. Rather, [it is moulded] in two casts as [is done] with serpents which are easily stripped from it [the mold]. After it is opened, nimbly remove this crust with the very fine point of a pen—knife {and not with quicksilver which removes nothing from it} and likewise those small crusts of the second cast which get into the cavities that the sand or the molded animal made because it has curved legs. Here is the subtlety and the secret of stripping it. As you molded it [the crab] from the back side in the way [that you did for] the others [animals], remove the stomach and all the curved legs from it. Make your second cast in the way [that you did for] the other [animals], but as it will have set, take care that you not open the mold unless you have first reheated it well. Otherwise, because of its curved legs, you would break the whole thing. Herein lies the subtlety. If, after it has been well reheated and opened, you see that the crust is not burned enough, reheat [it] until it is burned [enough].

at left top margin of folio 130v

It [a crab] can be painted like a crayfish.

at left top margin of folio 130v

It does nothing.

at left bottom margin of folio 130v

For opening the mold, it is not necessary to soak it because, once reheated, it will open itself by itself.