The purpose of this step is to create an exact copy of the wax
model that was created in the first step within an earthen
casing. The wax model of the figure and the wax model of the
base are molded separately.
Wax model of
The first step is to pour sand onto a small stool. Then
a small towel is placed over the sand with the edges of the towel being
pushed beneath the sand. This acts as a stand for the wax mold. Then
the wax model is placed face up on the towel. The wax model is ready
for the earthen mold to be applied.
The first layer of the mold is composed of fine, wet river
silt. The river silt is fine enough to fit into every detail of
the wax mold. It is carefully pressed into every area of the
front of the wax model. The piece is then placed in the sun to
being covered in fine wet river silt
After the first layer is dry iron rods are placed vertically over the
river silt. Then a layer of wet sand and clay are placed over the first
layer and the iron rods. The iron rods give vertical support to the
mold. The front side is then left to dry.
large wax rod is then joined to the base of the piece by heating both
sides with a hot file. This is for the metal to be poured into during
the pouring of the liquid metal into the mold. They are called “pouring
The process of applying the earthen mold is then repeated on the
backside. First a fine layer of river silt is applied then left
to dry. Then the iron rods and another layer of sand and clay
are applied and allowed to dry.
earthen molds drying in the south Indian sun
The next step is to reinforce the entire piece horizontally. Because
the mold is actually made of two separate pieces of earthen mold they
must be held together so that they do not come apart during casting.
Thus an iron wire is wrapped around the entire piece. The wire must be
wrapped very tightly to hold the two earth sides together. This is done
by using a pair of pliers to twist the wire decreasing the over length
of the wire and making it tight.
final layer of very wet sand and clay is the smoothed over the iron wire
to insulate the iron against the extreme heat of the casting of the
mold. The final mold is a very hard and strong ball of earth with two
pouring spouts on one side of the mold.
Approximate times for the above process from start to finish is;
days for a 12 inch wax mold
8 days for a 24 inch wax mold
10 days for a 36 inch wax mold
12 days for a 48 inch wax mold
15 days for a 60 inch wax mold
15 days for a 72 inch wax mold
This is provided that the south Indian sun is strong as usual. Clouds
or rain will inevitably lengthen the drying process.