Hello all! I'm starting my first big project and I'm trying to get it done by Christmas which should be an interesting challenge. I'm casting my father in laws hands in bronze silicate for my mother in law as a surprise christmas present. My father in law had a heart transplant 5 years ago, and without a second transplant, the life expectancy of the heart transplant is around 5-15 years. Our family decided to all pitch in for the materials so we can cast his hands, so that later in life she can still hold his hands once he's passed on. A real tear jerker for sure. It's been a steep learning curve but I've been really enjoying the challenge. My process outline is: 1. create model with algenate/plaster 2. clean up / refine plaster model 3. coat model in a few coats of liquid mold making rubber shell (https://www.hobbylobby.com/Crafts-H...gh-Strength-Liquid-Mold-Making-Rubber/p/23885) 4. create a clam shell plaster strip mother mold to keep the rubber mold in it's proper shape 5. remove plaster model 6. create wax model with slush casting using paramelt dark red casting wax (https://shop.sculpt.com/paramelt-dark-red-casting-wax-1467a-5lb.html) [i pray the 5lbs i ordered will be enough] 7. create a ceramic shell or block cast shell around the wax model... (i really need some help and advice on this part. there are so many different ceramic formulas and processes out there. any pointers, advice, or references would be greatly appreciated.) 8. burn out & reclaim the wax 9. melt my bronze silicate grain and pour into the 10. polish and accent I've gone through 4 model casts using algenate before I was able to get a good cast. At first i tried using Smooth-On Smooth Cast 300Q Fast Setting Urethane Casting Plastic for my model since it's more firm than plaster. after a few failed attempts at that due to bubbles, i settled on the traditional plaster casting since it was cheaper. There were some tiny bubbles in the plaster cast, so i used a candle to rub on wax into the tiny holes before making the rubber mold. I decided to make the rubber mold for casting the wax because doing a wax model straight in the algenate only gives me one shot to get the lost wax cast right, otherwise i have to start from scratch. if i botch the job, i can cast the wax in my rubber mold again and try again. Currently my first thick coat of rubber molding is curing. once it's partially cured enough, i'm going to preemptively pour a second coat, and if it's thick enough i may just stick with 2 coats. any tips to getting the ceramic shell done right and quickly would be stellar!