Thursday 12 October 2017
Utrecht University Museum laboratory
Reconstruction of http://artechne.hum.uu.nl/node/94332
White bees wax (Dorgisterij Wortman, Utrecht)
White lead (Kremserweiss, Kremer Pigmente)
Zinc white (Kremer Pigmente)
Organic beef suet (Groenweg Slagerij, Utrecht)
Turpentine (Portuguese gom turpentine, Drogisterij Wortman, Utrecht)
I followed the instruction "2) To make a white sculpting wax. Take white wax 1 loth, pounded lead
white 1/2 loth, also a little Venetian Tur-
pentine, and a little clean white goat fat; let
it melt together on a tempered coal fire,
and then cast it in clean cool water, or in a mould.", except I used a hot plate and not a coal fire. The Venetian turpentine was replaced with Portuguese gom turpentine, and the goat fat with beef fat. Pellets were cast on a palette, resulting in very white, opaque, and slightly sticky wax.
Subsequently, I tried replacing the lead white with zinc white, because it is less poisonous. This turned out to be difficult because the zinc white has a very different molecular weight than lead white - 3 grams of zinc white is almost twice as much volume as 3 grams of lead white, resulting in pellets that were even whiter than those made with white lead.