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

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Casting wax to mold an animal that one has not got

Take some white wax which is much more appropriate for this kind of work than anything else, because it is much firmer and does not leave as much filth, as much as you need to cast the animal that you propose, and no more. And [take] a half quantity of ground coal and neatly sieved through a cloth or coal sleeve, using it to give some color to your wax, that would otherwise be transparent and you will not be able to see your lines as clearly. Put your wax on the coal fire to melt. And when it is well—melted and well—liquified, have, for a full eared—porringer of melted wax, as much sulphur as a large walnut. Pulverize it. Melt it over a slow fire and when it is melted, do not leave it on the fire because it will become too hard. But take it off and keep stirring it with a little stick and when it has finished bubbling and is as liquified as water, cast it into the wax that you will have previously removed from the fire. And mix and stir both of the them so that they join together. After stir in little by little while continuously mixing, the charcoal that has been repeatedly ground, and in this way it will be very well incorporated. This is how you will know that your wax has gone beyond its ideal heating point, it will release no more smoke, it will start to have lines appearing on the side and not in the middle, and those lines will be close to each other. If you cast too hot, you will not be able to separate your wax from your mold and it would stick to the cast. When it is at the right state, stir it with a little stick so that the pulverized charcoal is well mixed in and has not fallen to the bottom of the mixture. And in this way, throw it in your mold bit by bit and not in one go, because wax is not runny

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This black sulphured wax is for fashioning round figures that do not come out of the mold. And they need to be burned in the moule au noyau rather than be opened like the ones that have something jutting out or an intertwining of legs and arms. And this wax, thanks to the sulphur, will melt with little heat and leave without leaving any filth. If by some misfortune the crushed charcoal remains in ashes, when you open the mold and blow on it, it will come clean.

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To make wax serpents or other things to affix to candles, it is necessary to cast them with esbaucher wax of all colors.

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not like other things. And for this one, you can cast two or three times until your mold is full. Now, concerning this mold of pulverized white plaster & reheated in the manner of the sand from the preceding recipes, you should have made it long ago because it is used many times. But, before using it, soak it for a good hour in cold water, & at a minimum, at least as long in hot water that at first is so hot that you can’t hold your finger in it. And note that it absorbs no more, but that it appears very wet overall without water seeping into it. In removing it closed from the hot water, cast your wax in such a state of heat as has been described. And neither the first nor the second casting will readily come out well, hardly, until the mold is soaked. Let it cool down before opening it so that the cast thing not break. You will know that the casting is good when the wax coming back out of the mold is thin and even. Remember to make several castings along the whole length of the mold so that in this way the wax runs better. Make the first

Figure Figure casting twice as large as other molds. And if, in the first casting, your work fills with bubbles and in so doing does not come out neatly, it’s all the same, because you have to face the fact that the three or four first do not readily come out well. Firstly, you will know whether there are a few barbs that keep it from stripping well. And you will remove them if, on their own, they do not remove themselves in the two or three first castings. And the more that you cast, the more you will do it neatly. And your mold will serve you more than one hundred times if it Is well governed. But it is good to soak it one night or one day before casting so that it be well soaked. The same must be done for fruits made from sugar. This wax is very soft & friendly & pliant, like copper. And if it is hard [this is] because of sulfur, which makes it melt more easily than than other [wax], so much that you can see evidence on a hot slate. And the sulfur that you put inside will be found the second time that you melt it, [as] cracks on the bottom. Having in this way passed through wax, it will not catch fire at all when put to a candle. And in this case, I believe that it will cast quite the medal [illegible]. One uses the same wax in place of varnish to [illegible].

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When your animal is cast, cut away the froth & superfluous things with a hot pen knife. And if you want, plait and wrap it around some stick or candle, put it in some hot water to soften and hold it in turning it around.

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Lower the protrusions of the castings so that they be even & that the wax has more silver so that it can run all in one go without turning through the windings of the snake.

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to engrave on silver & copper with aqua fortis. With this [wax] too, one fills the cavity of a relief, & then casts in this cavity, with moistened sand, which immediately takes the relief very neatly. And then you can cast its cavity on it in copper, gold, and silver, and make really singular seals.

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