With a combined mold making and casting experience of over 35 years, fossil hunters
Nelson Maniscalco and Marty Shemella are highly skilled in reproducing detailed fossils
and skeletons. They continue to make molds and castings for museums around the world and
more than a few of their bronze dinosaur skeleton castings reside in the collections of
such notable celebrities as movie mogul Steven Speilberg and horror author Steven King.
Both Maniscaclo and Shemella are currently part of the teaching staff at Cedar Crest
College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, which boasts a well appointed and growing foundry
where a variety of metals are cast including bronze, copper, iron, gold, silver and
Students fortunate enough to have one or both of these learned men as instructors learn
the finer points of mold making and casting. Maniscalco and Shemella recently evaluated
Smooth-On's SORTA-Clear® translucent platinum silicone and both came to the
same conclusion that "it is unlike anything currently on the market." SORTA-Clear is
mixed 10A:1B by weight and should be vacuumed before pouring over a model. It cures
overnight to a Shore 40A hardness and offers very high tear strength and surprising
physical properties. SORTA-Clear silicone is good for prototype mold making, making
jewelry molds (lost wax process) and other applications where extracting an original
from the mold is done using a razor knife and clarity is required to see where you are
What's so special about SORTA-Clear? According to Mr. Shemella:
"I've tried a variety of 'clear-cut' silicones including Rhodia and the Shin Etsu KE1310.
The SORTA-Clear is incredibly strong, but cuts like butter – easier than anything
I've tried. It is also very precise, with absolutely no shrinkage and no distortion. I
have virtually no seam lines, which means no post-casting clean up, which saves time."
Original piece will be visible through the semi-transparent silicone. This makes removing the model much easier.
SORTA-Clear'sŪ clarity and long working time allows the mold maker to make any minor adjustments to the original while it is encapsulated in liquid rubber.
The mold is carefully cut.
When opaque rubbers are used, it can be very difficult to cut out a complex original piece.
SORTA-ClearŪ makes precision cutting around a complex original much easier and helps prevent accidental harm to the original.
The finished mold reflects perfect detail captured from the original.
Wax is cast into the mold.
An added benefit of SORTA-ClearŪ is that the mold maker can see if all areas of the mold cavity have been filled. This helps eliminate imperfect castings, and save you time, labor and wasted material.
Completed casting and mold assembly.
Bear claw molded with SORTA-ClearŪ 40.
Starfish original, SORTA-ClearŪ mold and finished castings.
Finished bronze piece made using lost wax process.