Life casting is an age-old process of making a three-dimensional reproduction of the live human body. A finished life cast looks realistic and beautiful. The level of realism and detail has to be seen to be believed – it captures every wrinkle and indentation on the skin to fine body hair and finger prints too.
This fine work of art can be displayed anywhere for everyone to admire. Indeed, the awe and joy and emotions that a life cast instantly inspires can never be duplicated by a simple painting, photograph or even a video!
How to make body molds:
A life cast involves taking molds directly from the human body and then making a cast from the mold But making a body mold is obviously much more complicated than those of inanimate objects. Utmost care has to be taken to not harm or even inconvenience the model in any form.
It follows that a life casting artist can only use skin safe mold making materials for making a mold of the face, hands or any other part of the body. Regular mold making materials like polyurethanes, latex rubber or even plaster will not do.
Plaster bandages – This is considered about the safest mold making material when it comes to body molds. It is easy to apply on the body but cannot capture fine details. Therefore, it is suitable for making belly molds or pregnancy molds apart from shell molds.
Alginate - This is the most commonly used skin safe mold making material. It is similar to what dentists use to make teeth impressions and can capture incredible detail from the skin. Alginate does not stick to the skin either and the mold can be de-molded easily. But still it is advisable to add a release such as MoldEZ to prevent the alginate from getting tangled in the hair.
But alginate tends to shrink as the water evaporates and will distort as it dries. So an alginate mold should be cast quickly and is good for only 1 to 2 castings. Moreover, as alginate is a water based material, it is suited for limited casting materials like plaster, gypsum or very fast setting polyurethanes only.
Silicone rubber - Skin safe silicone rubber is also used for making body molds. This does not harm the skin and can be used for making multiple life casts from the same mold. As it does not contain moisture, it can accept any casting material. But silicone is much more expensive and tends to stick to the skin. It cannot be used on the hair at all.
When it comes to application of the mold making material on the skin, you can pat on the material to cover every tiny area of the skin very effectively. Some life casting artists prefer the pour-around method for making a mold.
The dip-into method is simple and effective for making an alginate mold of the hand. All that you have to do is mix the alginate in a container and insert the model’s hand in it. Once cured, the hand can easily be wriggled free and the mold will lock back in place quite easily.
Happy body molding!
Post time: 02-09-2017