Ten coats total, including top coat of clear without sand.
The cups with the tops cut off. The paper cup will burn away and the wax behind it will melt out when it is placed in the burn-out kiln, leaving a hollow shell mold into which the bronze will be poured. Eventually, the shell will be broken away, leaving the bronze, one-off. This is the part that has confused many people. I hope it has become clearer now.