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belly cast kits... Tummy moulds and bellycasts, mum-to-be.. kits for pregnant mums, expectant mothers.. Plaster-of-Paris casting kits for belly bumps, tummy-and-chest moulds... for Childrens foot and hand prints.. pregnancy mould... belly and breast mould and cast kits instructions, guidance and methods Pregnant belly and breast casting kit belly mould Kit plaster cast pregnancy & belly bump  mould kit Plaster and kits for belly casts... tummy and breast moulds for mums-to-be.... partner or assistant, comfortable for 30 minute... whole torso cast.. including metallic spray hang the whole cast... soft lighting in baby's bedroom or nursery Prices include VAT. Normal delivery 2 working days. .. alginate moulding gel completeley safe in used in medicine and dentistry.... impressions of feet and hands for toddlers... late pregnancy, usually about 32 to 33 weeks pregnant... when swelling too large or uncomfortable sit comfortably so that the breasts don't fall or sag to the side... belly mould kit... Modelling from Art Discount. Art & Craft supplies at discount prices Use Dry Mix Plaster of Paris for hobbies, crafts & some DIY. moulding for belly bump.. Full instructions given on each tub. Our Price: £4.99 Modelling Materials Plaster Of Paris 1kg. price: £1.69. Quality plaster of paris ideal for use with casting moulds. Mix with water to a fine consistency pour ...Herculite No.2 10kg Plaster-Of-Paris, Code, Description, Picture, Price, Quantity· Plaster Of Paris 10Kg Dental plaster, use for making lightweight casts... Herculite No.2 for moulds modelling materials, fimo sets, modelling tools. Das ...Ideal for hobby craft and childrens plaster of paris models. plaster mixer, plaster of paris, Decorative ...Find plaster, plaster mixer, plaster of paris
The whole procedure takes about 30 minutes, and it can be difficult for some pregnant women to stand in one place for that long... the weight off the subject's feet. Around the belly-cast method... clear instructions and diagrams.... casting technique for the mould/shell .... parting agent such as vaseline... The model's clothing should be adequately protected from the alginate, as neither it nor the plaster will launder out later. Do not put petroleum jelly or any lubricant on the skin, as this will make the alginate slide off too easily. Belly moulds are great fun... Different models have different opinions about how much breast to include in the casting. Its a matter of artistic and personal preferences. It is even possible to take an impression of the breasts with a bra, but the cloth must be completely sealed or the gel will stick to it. In any case, make sure that the material gets up into the area beneath the breasts to minimize air bubbles and voids. A small rubber spatula or a catheter-tip syringe (available at Vet supply stores) can help. body moulds are easily removed... gel or oil
MATERIALS PREPARATION: Note: This is a fairly messy procedure. Take adequate precautions to avoid ruining carpeting, etc. Unroll the plaster bandages and cut them into strips. There should be about 25% 6-inch strips and 75% 12-inch strips. Keep the scissors handy throughout Fill a container (plastic, flat-bottomed, rectangular 12-inch by 18-inch with 6-inch walls is ideal) with about 3 inches of water. Its best to have one person preparing the plaster bandages and one person applying them. This second person can also mix the alginate and assist in its application. Mixing alginate by weight is always preferable to measuring by volume, because alginate is highly compressable and its can density vary significantly. We put our 7 pounds of 85°F water in a medium sized bucket, poured in the IBG and power mixed it for about 1 minute, until smooth. ..old, loose fitting clothes. Note the arm rests... applied a plaster strip framework around the outside of our target area just like we did for the head cast. You can see the framework in the mould pictures below, or you can look at the head cast pictures by clicking here The alginate is applied. It should be about 3/4 inch thick (21mm) on average.
The plaster strips are applied making sure to overlap the outside framework.. support the structure of the mould without deforming it. The plaster bandages should be 5 or 6 layers thick, and a little thicker toward the edges. When set, have the model lean forward. You should have two people available to catch the mould when it comes off. Here you can see the approximate extent of the mould. Be sure to coat all plaster surfaces of the mould with petroleum jelly to prevent the Cast sticking to the mould. Do not coat the alginate surfaces. Mix a slightly thinner-than-usual plaster-of-paris mixture and carefully coat the inside of the mould with a thin slip coat. This will minimize the surface bubbles. On the next layer, combine hemp fibres with the plaster-of-paris. Take the casting out of the mould when the hemp layer is set. Carefully begin to trim the outside edge with a hand grinder, file. Finish the edges with the gypsum plaster-of-paris.
A hanger made of wire can be embedded in the back surface. A piece of insulated, multistranded electrical wire works well. Use a piece about 12 inches long, strip off about 4 inches of insulation on both ends, fray out the wire and use gypsum plaster-of-paris to stick the ends onto the back. Cast Your Own Pregnant Belly The alginate actually takes the impression. slow-set alginate. Mixed as directed below, ... alginate to do a torso from shoulders to waist. If, as with a pregnancy, you've got more ground to cover, perhaps a bit more. Cotton batting: Ask for this at fabric stores. Not terribly expensive. and you can use either, though the cotton is a bit more forgiving. Lately, cotton has been hard to find, so don't fret too much about it. One roll is way more than you need. plaster-of-paris is heavier, and settles out into the low places in your casting, leaving them colored differently. If you're going to paint it, though, you may not care. Plaster bandages are available from medical supply places, or can be ordered. These are the same sort used to make casts for broken bones. You probably want a width from 4 to 6 inches. Get enough to make at least four or five layers thick over the entire area you're casting. If the cost is significant, you can make your own plaster bandages by using the cotton batting plaster and accelerator. plaster from the previous batch that has started to set. You only need to use one of these, not all three. belly mask or belly bump plasticine and modelling clay... the plaster bandages, plaster is that it gives off heat as it sets, and the thicker you make it, the faster it gets hot, so it gets up to a higer temperature. Plaster from the previous batch that hasn't quite set. The reaction that lets plaster set is driven by recrystallization, rather than having to form its own. . Be careful about the temperature. Be willing to sacrifice a mould if it gets too hot. Through the alginate, it's less of a problem, but be aware. You will also need a bucket to mix the alginate with water, and another bucket or two to mix the plaster. because you can just bend them a bit to pop off set plaster. mixing the alginate. It needs to be smooth and even, and you just cannot get it there by hand before it starts to set up, if you're mixing a large batch.
Get someone to help do the casting. It's probably possible to do it yourself, but you'll waste a lot of time and material learning. Decide beforehand how much of yourself you want to cast. Fine hairs won't disturb anything, and won't be pulled or lost in the alginate. Coarse, or curly, or closely-spaced hair must either be removed, or covered with a release agent. Vaseline works, but impression in the mould. Cholesterol-based hair conditioner is thick enough to fill in and lubricate the hair, but not oily and so doesn't repel the alginate. pubic region, cover yourself with your hand and arm, and just put that in the casting. If you do use your hand, keep very good contact between your arm and your body; thin layers of alginate tend to tear easily. Too much area is better than too little; you can always use woodworking tools to trim and finish the edges of the casting later. Wear old clothes, wrap over clothes. The alginate does run down and sticks to cloth. If you wait until it's well set to peel it off, you usually can, though. Since we're talking about pregnancies, you may want to get your breasts in there too, to get If you do, you'll want to be sitting up. If you make the mould lying down, your breasts will hang to the sides, not down, and that looks really odd... sit leaning a little bit back against some cushions. That lets the model rest, but gives a natural look to the breasts. If you're also wanting to get your groin in, then figure out some way to kneel and lean back slightly. DO NOT try to stand up in the exact same position for the half-hour or 45 minutes this is going to take. It's no fun, and unless you're a pro art model, there is some risk of passing out just from holding the pose Put down lots of newspaper. Get everything ready beforehand, because once the alginate is mixed, you've got 5-7 minutes, Cut pieces of batting a bit bigger than you think you'll need. First, completely unfold it, and then pull it apart so you've got two halves, each ... This goes for both the cotton and the gauze....
Mix the alginate... mix BY WEIGHT of 2 parts alginate to 7 parts water. This is quite stiff, but will slump a little bit on its own. For doing a large piece, like a torso, two pounds of alginate and seven pounds (pints) of water is about right. Make a few small test batches first to see how the consistency works. The water should feel just comfortably warm. You want it warm enough to not raise goose bumps, but not much warmer, or the alginate will set up a bit too fast. Mixing should take about a minute. Put the water in the bucket first, and then the alginate powder, and start mixing right away. do not to mix in air. The less air you get in the mould, the less re-work you'll do later. Once it's mixed, take a handful at a time Press pretty firmly. You want to get the alginate into good contact all over the skin, to get rid of air bubbles and pockets. Go over the whole surface once, thinly, just to get everything covered. Next, go back over. Work from top to bottom, letting gravity pull the alginate down for you. The second layer should ideally be about 1/4 inch thick (at least) everywhere. If you're doing breasts or other overhanging things, spend a few extra seconds to make sure there are no air bubbles caught under the breast. This is really common. Once you've got the second layer on, it's time firmly into the surface as you apply it, fluffy side down. What you're doing is putting some fibres into the alginate, but sticking out so that plaster can grab them. The alginate itself will stick to nearly nothing once it's started to set. This is really really important. When the alginate begins to set, it will get a little grainy, rather than completely smooth. If you haven't already started getting the batting pressed in by this point, work *really* fast. Having two people can make things easier here.
Once the plaster mixed, spread this thinly over the alginate and remaining fibres. The reason for the plaster layer is to make a mostly rounded surface for the plaster bandages in the next step. If you roll on the bandage, and it stretches over a low spot, then there'll be a gap there. Until you turn the mould over, and pour all that heavy plaster in. The alginate, being rubbery, will sink down into that gap. Where the alginate moved, there'll be a bump on your cast. Specifically for a pregnancy.. fill in under the breasts until they're evenly domed, and a bit between the breasts, to level the valley a bit. Once the plaster has started to set, you can put on the plaster bandage. Get a good, sharp pair of scissors. Fold the end of the bandage around one finger, so you can find it later. Dunk the whole roll into cold water for 5 or 7 seconds, until it mostly stops bubbling out air. Squeeze a bit of water out gently, just enough so that it's not really drippy. Pull off a length, and scissor it off. Lay the bandage on the plaster, and smooth it out with your fingers to spread the plaster around. Keep going, pressing the bandage into corners, and generally making a good fit to the alginate. Overlap the bandages by about half of their width. Do at least four layers in different directions. For a female torso, that usually takes four or five bandages. use bandages that are six inches wide, and five yards long.
You can tell the bandages have set when you tap on them, and you hear a sharp "tap" sound, Now, you're ready to get the mould off. The alginate is still t, so you need to be as careful as you can. Work slowly. Get a little bit of skin loose at a time. It's really easy to feel where it's already loose, and where it's still sticking to you. Get the edges loose first. You'll be able to feel the mould coming loose as it peels away. If the model is sitting up, it's usually pretty straightforward to tip the mould away from her at the top, and just keep going until the alginate is cradled in the plaster. If lying down, then try to pick it up as little as possible, and just sort of roll it over to the side. If you did a good job with getting fibres into the alginate, you don't need to worry too much about this step. If there weren't many fibres, be really careful. The alginate will slip around, and may tear. Once it's off, you want to mix and cast the plaster as soon as you can. The alginate is continuing to set, and changing shape subtly. Don't wait even as much as overnight. Mix the plaster according to the directions on the package. For a torso sized piece... use enough plaster and water to get 1.5 gallons of mix.
Pour a bit of plaster into the mould, so it coats the whole surface. Be sure to cover the whole surface first. If you don't, you'll get little gaps where a later batch didn't quite run up to the first. Blow on, or gently touch bubbles to break them. As the plaster starts to set up, take a bit more at a time from the bucket and apply it into the mould. Eventually, the plaster will get to a sort of clay-like consistency. This won't last long, so be constantly lifting and smoothing the plaster up the sides of the mould. As soon as it will stay on its own, get it where you want it, then leave it alone. If you're going to hang the piece on a wall, get several short lengths .. You want maybe a foot to ten inches for each piece. Tie a simple knot at each end of the rope. Leave a piece that big to set for at least a couple of hours. Overnight is better, if you can stand to wait. De-moulding is probably just a matter of turning the whole deal over, then *carefully* lifting the alginate mould off, again, going slowly. From a mould this size and shape, you're only going to get one good casting. If you made your own bandages, they may be too stiff to flex away, and you may need to carefully cut through the plaster to get smaller sections that will pull away. If you do, use the blue of the alginate to tell when you're through the outer plaster.
How you finish the piece depends on your taste. preserve the texture of the skin; with this alginate, you can clearly see individual pores. If you want to preserve this texture, DO NOT TOUCH THE CASTING once you have un-moulded it. Wait at least a day until it is bone dry to the touch. If you're inclined to smooth edges, use a fine-toothed saw ( to trim, followed by a rasp. You will certainly have some surface blobs. If small, these can usually just be popped off. For cleaning up minor flaws, To fill little bubbles or gaps in the plaster, just mix up more plaster and water, and press it in with a finger or a tool. Be a bit careful: smearing too much around will fill in detail that you might want to save. Also, be sure to get the mix ratio to what you originally used - too thick or too thin will be a different colour, sometimes noticeably so. If you just want the white finish (shows shadows and fine details quite well), leave the plaster surface just as it the surface is hard enough to be well-protected without any further effort. You can clear-coat the piece with spray lacquer, but be aware that you'll lose detail, just like water on frosted glass. near the gold-leafing and oil paint metallic paint... several colours, but it's basically brass or aluminum powder, and possibly pigment (depending on colour). It does an amazingly good job of adding a gold-leaf look to things with basically .. real leaf, but on surfaces as uneven as faces, it's a lot more work than it's worth only that you cast up some of the same plaster you used for the piece to practice on.. paint a little bit, and the plaster is so porous and absorbent that you definitely need to prime it first.
Casting & Moulding Techniques
Technique Method
Plaster-of-Paris Moulds & Casting ‘Plaster-of-Paris’ can mean the powdered material, the finished work or the art form; ‘casting plaster’ is just a more specific term for plaster-of-Paris while it is still a powder, e.g. in the bag, etc. Unlike other types of gypsum, casting plaster is very pourable once mixed with water but sets quite suddenly, usually at somewhere between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the variety.
Making Plaster-of-Paris Moulds Although it can be sculpted as a 'negative', more usually a plaster mould is formed from an original or prototype. This may be part or all of an existing object, or a master modelled for making one or more copies, and might be a pot, a plate, a figurine or even part of a car. Originals made of pliable materials such as plastic, rubber, silicone and plasticine do not normally need a release agent (e.g. vaseline), but heavily-detailed or shiny surfaces can be difficult to part - metal, glass and ceramics all require a release agent, however flexible moulds (see below) are normally used for rigid materials and for copying originals with heavy or undercut detail. Intricate or hollow moulds can be formed in sections which can be held together with rubber bands or tape, etc., and the joint-lines levelled off after separation. ¶The mould box can be any simple plastic container or frame lined with a plastic sheet, etc., with the object being firmly fixed or suspended in the box - tupperware containers, washing-up bowls, old cardboard boxes, even plastic footballs cut-in-half are all perfect. If containment is difficult - as with a large panel, or other fixture - the mould box will have to be devised around or over the original ensuring that the junction with the sides of the box is completely sealed with plasticine, etc. Hessian or wire mesh can be included to add strength to slender or large areas of the mould. If the original is made of a soft substance such as paraffin wax which can be scooped or melted out of the mould, whole-object castings can be made (vents can be drilled into the mould to prevent air being trapped). Fine Casting or Artists' plaster is suitable for most work, but Herculite No.2 plaster can be used for moulds that will be used repeatedly; for maximum durability, however, use Crystacast. Setting time depends on the plaster used, but is usually under 30 minutes. ¶Semi-flexible casings or moulds can be made with Plaster-of-Paris bandage using the same material and technique as plaster-casts for bone fractures (see Body Moulding below).
Making A Cast When it comes to making a cast from rigid or flexible moulds, Fine Casting or Artists' plaster is usually quite sufficient if the finished work is unlikely to be handled much. A typical plaster for more portable objects is Herculite No.2, but Crystacal R should be used if true whiteness is important. For maximum hardness use Crystacast or, for the best resistance to breakage, use Cassini's. Moulds must be completely dry if used for casting metals because the steam from trapped moisture can cause molten metal to be blown out - the mould may need drying in a low oven before use (not a microwave!). Any under-cut detail in the mould will prevent separation if the casting is plaster, metal, etc. - but this won't matter if the casting is a one-off and the mould can be broken away without damaging the finished article.
Flexible Moulding

Alginate, Latex,
Silicone,
Vinyl Rubber
(Vinamold)
A flexible mould is normally used for originals with any relief or undercut detail, etc., and there are several ways this can be done. 1Alginate can be used for making life-casts as described lower down but is also widely-used for copying figurines, small ornaments and decorative mouldings - especially in restoration work; alginate comes as a powder which is mixed with water and can either be applied as a paste or, using a weaker mix, the original can be immersed in the gel; the mixture sets in about 3 minutes and the mould detaches itself in the process. Alginate moulds are only suited to a very limited number of uses as the material degrades quite rapidly. 2. Latex moulds are often seen in children's casting kits but are also used extensively in the production of objects ranging from chess-pieces to heavy garden ornaments; the raw material is a milky fluid and moulds can be made by repeatedly dipping the original or by painting the liquid on in several coats; however, by adding a thixotropic agent (thickener), the latex can be spread on ('brushing latex') - provided there is not too much heavy detail. With a supportive jacket or backing of plaster or Modroc, etc., latex can be used on bulky or lengthy originals, e.g. statues, decorative cornices, etc. 3. RTV silicone moulds can be formed by placing the original in a pot or container with the liquid rubber being poured in the same way as a plaster block-mould; large, flat areas can be reproduced by forming a low barrier around the perimeter of the original then pouring in the silicone to form a rubber layer or mat. Moulds can be built up in sections, but successive layers must be separated with an effective barrier to prevent adhesion. (RTV silicone is a two-part material and is very different to the silicone used in mastic sealants). A more efficient, two-stage process is often used for larger moulds: a layer of clay or plasticine is spread over the original; this is then placed in a suitable mould-box and plaster-of-Paris poured in; once set, the plaster case is lifted off and the clay filling removed; when the plaster case is put back over the original there is a void where the clay was; the silicone to form the mould can now be poured into this cavity through holes formed in the plaster case - then left to cure as normal. The plaster case itself may also be used as a mould support for heavy castings. This technique can be adapted for making moulds of wall fixtures, plaques, etc. - effectively turning the assembly on its side. Silicone combines durability with great accuracy - it is therefore widely-used for small to medium-size ornaments and in engineering work where planes and angles need precise replication, and also for copying inscriptions, etc. As with latex, with the same limitation, a thickener ('thixo') can be added to the silicone ('brushing silicone') so that it can simply be spread on to the original to form a mould. 4. Vinyl rubber (Vinamold, Gelfex, Flexil, hot-melt, etc.) is similar to silicone but the material is first heated in a pan to make it pourable - small projects can easily be managed in the microwave; for best results, the original should be pre-warmed so that the molten rubber can fill all the detail before solidifying; vinyl rubber can only be used on heat-resistant originals and is not as durable as silicone; however, moulds can be melted down and the rubber re-used. ¶Sometimes the shape of the original makes it impracticable to release the mould in one piece - whether using alginate, vinamold or silicone; however, by slicing through the set material (or even carefully tearing it where a sharp blade is not appropriate) - then matching up and strapping the sections together, it is possible to make moulds and produce castings of the most complicated ornaments and figurines, etc; seams or joint lines in the finishing castings can easily be rubbed down later. An alternative is to mould and cast projections, extended limbs, etc., separately - which also makes it easier to introduce reinforcement (dowels or wire) into slender or vulnerable areas.
¶Mould-boxes are rarely very elaborate - plastic food cartons and cut-down milk bottles are ideal. Release agents are not normally needed for alginate or latex, either when making the mould or when making castings; both silicone and vinyl rubber can also usually be persuaded to de-mould from most of the surface types that they are likely to be used with. Vaseline, WD40 and most household polishes, baby oils, etc., can be used to make separation easier, but shellac can also be used to seal particularly difficult or porous originals beforehand. ¶When in use, larger moulds may need support to avoid distortion from the weight of the material used in the casting; tape or light strapping may be sufficient, or the mould can be nestled into a box of dry plaster or sand or, if the mould is formed with a lip, it can be suspended in a jug of water; a mould for a long or heavy object may need a rigid jacket or casing of plaster-of-Paris, modroc or fibreglass, possibly made in two halves with the meeting edges incorporating a flange so that the sections of the support case can be strapped or even bolted together. Alternatively, expanding foam (contained between the mould and an outer box) can afford adequate support for surprisingly heavy castings.
¶The choice of plaster for casting from flexible moulds is much the same as for casting from rigid moulds (see above). ¶Casting resin is a popular medium for casting ornaments and various effects and finishes can be achieved by adding powders or pigment pastes, etc. Fibreglass is also often used when making shell-only models. Polyurethane resin ('Fastcast' or 'Easyflow') only takes a few minutes to set and is widely used for small-scale work such as sets of models, chess pieces, etc. Cold-cast bronze, etc. is made by mixing metal powder with fastcast resin - usually just applied or brushed on as a veneer on the inside of the mould, with either plain, filled or reinforced resin added behind, depending on size. Clear-cast resin can be used for encapsulation in jewellery, paperweights, preserving specimens, etc. ¶Use the tabs below this table to read more about alginate, latex, silicone, vinyl rubber and resin.
Sculpting A plaster 'block' can be made in a basic mould that slightly exceeds the model's shape and size; the block may be made partly hollow by including a light infill foam to save on plaster, and weight. Sculpting is usually carried out when the plaster is quite dry otherwise tools and sandpaper, etc., will clog. Repairs are easily effected since new plaster readily adheres to existing. Crystacal R is ideal for sculpting as it is a very pure white. Cassini's can be used for outdoor work.
Built-Up/
Armature Work
A layer of light plaster (typically Fine Casting) is built up around a hollow cage or framework (armature). Large pieces such as life-size figures will require wire and rods (not necessarily metal) to make up the frame, to which wire mesh, etc., can be attached. Small pieces can be made using mesh alone. Canvas or cloth is then dipped in wet plaster* and then wrapped over the parts of this frame in successive layers until a sufficient covering and the right shape is achieved. (In the early stages any parts that protrude too much can usually be knocked back in - slightly too far - then filled out again). The final piece can be left natural, sculpted - or smoothed over with a final coat of plaster. *Modroc pre-coated plaster bandage is usually more convenient for small and medium-sized work.
Impressions/
Imprints
Imprints are made by pressing the subject into the wet plaster, so that the mould itself is the finished item; a release agent such as a vaseline may be needed depending on the material (see Casting below); this technique is popular with parents who want a record of the size and shape of small hands and feet, and a kilo of plaster and two plastic flower-pot bowls is all that is needed for several small hand and foot imprints. Children's Hand & Foot Imprint Plaster Pack
Slip-Casting Liquid clay (slip) is poured into a plaster-of-Paris mould. The plaster absorbs water from the clay to leave a hard layer; excess slip is poured away. As the clay dries, it shrinks slightly, detaching itself from the mould surface; once the clay is firm enough it can be taken out of the mould - which is then dried for re-use. The process can be adapted for making pots, etc., using split-moulds (the slip is bathed over the inside of the mould and the excess drained off) - or for solid objects, including tiles, but is not suited to heavy detail. Denser plasters can be used for high-quality work, however lighter plasters absorb water faster, allowing a shorter mould cycle.
Body Moulding This single-stage technique is very popular with mothers-to-be who want a memento of their body shape during pregnancy. A pre-coated plaster-of-Paris bandage* is used to make the mould. Tummy and chest are first covered with petroleum jelly, then two or three layers of the moistened bandage are applied more-or-less as a thin poultice which sets very rapidly. The whole process takes 15 minutes-or-so and, although the result is a solid veil, it captures all the shape and holds a surprising amount of detail - and is great fun to decorate. Nursery scenes, cartoon and animal motifs are very popular, but in the right lighting and position, a plain, natural look can be very dramatic. View the Body mould & mum-to-be kit. There is more information about this simple moulding technique via the link above this table. *Modroc bandage is a pre-coated plaster bandage which is dipped in water for 3 or 4 seconds - it then becomes quite 'pasty' and is applied/draped over the skin and then smoothed into the body's contours. Open gallery.
Life-Casting (Face, Body, Hands, Feet) This involves making a flexible mould which is peeled away from the subject once set; the mould is formed in alginate gel which sets in 2 - 3 minutes and will even hold such detail as the pores of the skin. This is the negative which is then coated or filled on the inside with plaster-of-Paris; when the mould is removed the end-result is an exact plaster replica. The method is popular with parents who want to make a cast of their baby's foot or hand. The foot can either be immersed in the alginate, or the alginate can be spread on (using a thick mix) and is peeled off once set. The mould can then be filled with plaster-of-Paris. A hard plaster such as Herculite No.2 is normally used for life-casting, but if the piece is to be left 'as-cast' a pure-white plaster such as Crystacal R can be used. The cast of the 'Hand Emerging' shown below was made in a tuppperware box and was completed in just 30 minutes.

Working with Alginate and Plaster-of-Paris - Casting a Hand

On larger body-areas the alginate will need a supportive backing: if the alginate is applied directly to the tummy and chest and then bandaged in-situ as for the Body-Mould process above, the result is a mould which is sufficiently flexible that it can be separated from the body without distortion; plaster and layers of fabric are then applied on the inside to create the plaster replica, which is a shell rather than a solid mass. This is the method used by mums-to-be who want a naked-skin replica of themselves at the later stages of pregnancy, and is definitely a two or even three-person project, requiring 20 - 30 minutes of close co-operation to make the mould. The casting is often painted - metallic spray is very impressive. Life-cast & mum-to-be kit. Using the same technique, whole body or whole head casts, etc., can be made by casting front and back separately then joining them. Permanent moulds of the face or hands, etc., are usually made by first making a plaster-of-Paris cast using alginate, then making a silicone or latex mould from this cast.

Click to view in the list Plaster-of-Paris Work   Show summary Notes
Fine Casting
Artists' Plaster
General casting and moulding; suitable for a wide range of artistic applications and most large objects and impression work; also fibrous plasterwork, decorative mouldings, panels, etc. Decorative items, occasional moulds, impressions, models, etc. Large items may need an armature. Artists' is slightly stronger than Fine Casting plaster.
Dental SP General casting, and any situation where faster setting is required; despite its name, a popular general-purpose plaster. Very consistent, short set time.
Herculite No.2 Sculptures and casts requiring durability, reusable moulds and items likely to be handled frequently. Longer drying time in slip moulds but greater detail. Suitable for life-casting if painted, etc. Dense hard surface; large casts and projections may require the inclusion of mesh or fibre, etc.
Herculite LX Casts or moulds requiring durability but also extreme accuracy; often used in engineering work, musical instruments, etc. Very high dimensional stability.
Crystacal R Displayware, giftware, chess pieces, etc., reusable moulds; slower drying in slip moulds and slightly better definition than Herculite No.2, and much-favoured for life-casting work. Dense hard surface; very popular in exhibits, displayware and undecorated life-casting because of its whiteness.
Cassini's Statues, figurines, water features, sculptures, impressions, etc. Also marble/stone repair & restoration (cast or applied). Suitable for both indoor and outdoor work. Water/weather-resistant; dense surface; very good impression capability and the best resistance to breakage and chipping.
Crystacast
Herculite Stone
Moulds or casts requiring extreme durability, or where the finest possible detail is necessary, e.g in ceramics. Extremely dense surface; Crystacast is one of the finest pottery plasters available; Herculite Stone is very chip-resistant.

How Much Plaster? As an illustration, it takes 1.5kg of Fine Casting plaster to make a block the size of a brick - but 2.5kg if using Crystacal R which is much denser. First work out the volume of the finished piece. If this is difficult to measure directly as with a latex mould, for instance, use a calibrated jug to see what volume of water would fill the mould - or how much water it would displace - in litres. Multiply this figure by the relative density value in the bottom table to arrive at the weight of plaster powder needed in kilograms - then add a little for wastage, etc. So, for a mould that holds 0.4 litres, if using Crystacal R plaster - which has a relative density of 1.67 - you will need around 0.7kg for each casting (0.4 x 1.67 = 0.66kg).



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