After posting the in-progress pictures for Imp last week, I was contacted by my long-time mentor, Joan Berkwitz. She pointed out that I could reduce the amount of displacement of my inner mold pieces if I tightened up my mold perimeter. She was particularly concerned about the size of the inside ear piece (the “Carmen Miranda hat”).
So using Joan’s markup, I dramatically cut down the size of the mold. Oddly enough, what I ended up with was pretty close to the original perimeter that I had laid out, and then enlarged at the last minute. I had worried about leaving enough plaster to absorb the water from the slip, since I had recently made a medallion mold with too little border and knew the problems that created. What I hadn’t considered was that while the medallion and the foal weren’t that different in overall dimensions (width, height, depth), the mass involved was dramatically different. The foal would dry evenly without much trouble. What I should have been worrying about was the shifting of the inside pieces.
So I have been reminded today that a good mentor is a priceless thing. I still remember Joan telling me, back when I first started making molds, that the best reinforcement for a lesson was cursing. If you overlooked something and it caused a disaster bad enough to set you to cussing your own foolishness, you were more likely not to do that thing again. I have certainly found that to be true! But sometimes having a good friend to warn you that what you are about to do will result in a lot of cussing is just as good!