A CASE STUDY IN THE USE OF CYCLODODECANE AND LATEX RUBBER IN THE MOLDING OF MARBLE
JEFFREY P. MAISH, & ERIK RISSER
Although somewhat time-consuming, the mold achieved very good detail without staining. The consolidation of “pigmented” areas with CDD was mostly effective. The modern yellow toning remained in the beard, although some yellow toning in the hair appeared to have been reduced. There was additional movement of water-soluble grime caused by the latex in areas of the marble that had been purposefully left uncoated with CDD. There was no surface adhesion (latex to stone), although a few grains of marble were pulled from an abraded, sugary, and unconsolidated area on the rear of the bust.
The rubber latex–cyclododecane combination produced very good detail, and the plaster cast was of sufficient quality to aid in the technical study of the bust of the pugilist. Although silicone molds provide a more straightforward method of molding objects, more time may be needed for postcast cleanup and removal of barrier coatings, and barriers may never completely come out of porous substrates. The timing of the solvent evaporation and the mutual repellence of the waxy (nonpolar) CDD and water-based (polar) latex rubber was an advantage. CDD appears to leave almost immeasurable residue amounts that would benefit by further characterization (the authors plan to submit samples for identification). Ideally, molds will last indefinitely as archival documents, and the longevity of this latex-polyurethane mold is to be determined, although it is expected to be much less durable than silicone rubber. The lack of longevity for latex is due to its double-bonded chemical structure, which makes it susceptible to oxidation. Perhaps this type of mold could be stored with a final plaster cast in situ or in an anoxic bag to preserve dimensional stability and/or retard oxidation. Finally, although the tool markings were not being studied by electron microscopy, a silicone rubber could be expected to perform better at this higher magnification.