I've done quite a bit of casting of organic materials into silver
and just ran across a VERY odd occurrence. I'm wondering if why of
you have experienced it and maybe have some thoughts on it.
I have a gorgeous "fancy" poinsettia with the ruffled leaves. I
clipped a bunch of the leaves (these are large leaves, about 3 - 4
inches in length and at least 2 inches wide. The leaves themselves
are fairly thick and have very pronounced texturing and large veins.
As I normally do, I backed the leaves in a pretty thick layer of wax,
applied by paintbrush. I let them sit for a week before investing
(they looked fabulous at that point).
I invested the poinsettia flask and another flask of organics (no
poinsettias in it) out of the same batch of investment,
simultaneously pouring, vacuuming, etc.
After casting, I quenched the poinsettia flask fairly quickly (about
a minute after casting, when the redness was gone from the button).
The button was an appropriate size, by the way. Shockingly, to me,
the plaster in that flask was as hard as a rock, somewhat black on
the outside and shiny where it had been in contact with the flask. I
know this because it took me 1/2 hour of digging away at it to
finally dislodge enough of it from the flask to get it out to work on
it. Every last bit of that plaster had to be "sculpted" off the
silver and it was harder than I've ever felt a plaster get. The
odd(er) part is that not one of the leaves filled completely -- all
have holes in them (center and/or edges) that made them unusable.
The other flask was completely normal.
This leads me to conclude * There is something odd about poinsettias
that reacted with the plaster to cause this reaction.
So my questions:
1. Has anyone else tried this and had a similar occurrence?
2. Is there anything I can spray or seal the poinsettias with to
3. Would a double burn-out help? (this was a 6-hour burn with a
Any and all suggestions welcome!