After a handful of unsuccessful castings from a (now) dry mold, I had to give up on my hope of casting Vixen in one piece. Her head is turned too far to the left to work, so it’s going to have to come off.
What I discovered, however, is that I think I can take it off inside the mold. My problem isn’t that the head will not cast properly. It’s just that the angle necessary to free the body and the one needed to free the head are incompatible. The design of the mold means the body has to pull first, and that pull breaks the left ear every time. But if I do the head and neck cut in the greenware, I can pull the body out and leave the head. Then there is room to pull the head at the angle it needs to come out. The two pieces can then be reassembled just as if they were cast separately.
I have one piece assembled and ready to fire. She looks great so far. If this works, it will save having to make another set of master molds (one for the body and one for the head). She’ll still have to be assembled, which will make the bisques more time-consuming, but I think it’s still better than dealing with two molds. And right now I’d do most anything to avoid having to make new rubber masters again!
(In the picture above, this is the stage in demolding when I make the neck cut.)