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Paraffin.  A firm waxy material, excellent for carving, molding or modeling; when mixed with certain clays it forms the modeling compound, plasteline, widely used by sculptors. Since paraffin is firm yet easy to cut it can be used on pantograph machines to make reductions of relief (as, intermediate reduction, where the reduction is cast in a harder substance and reduced again). Paraffin can be melted, reshaped and used again and again.

Paraffin is also used in electroforming for coating and metallizing a surface, as a plaster pattern can be so coated. A very light coating of heated paraffin is applied to the surface to be formed. Then bronze powders is applied after the paraffin has dried.  See metallized surface.

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

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