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 platinum.
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'sSORTA-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 cutting.
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.