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facial life-casting

1: Materials    2: Preparation  3: Alginate    4: Adding Strength  5: Removal  6: The Positive



Be aware of how it feels to sit quietly for up to 40mins. Now add to this the feeling of cold wet slime being smeared all over your face, followed by the very warm curing action of the plaster bandage setting. You subject will be unable to speak or see, So consider having the radio on. Also talk to your subject through the process as you administer it, so that they know what is happening, and how much longer this is going to take. Minutes will seem like hours under all that gunk!


Once the bandage feels hard, get your subject to begin releasing their frozen expression under the cast, by wiggling their nose, sucking in their cheeks and pulling faces. They will be able to feel the alginate releasing from their skin (you may even hear a sigh of utter relief!).

Tip : Gravity (your enemy during the application of the wet alginate) can now be your ally when it comes to removing it.

Ask your subject to lean forward clasping their head in their hands, and they will begin to fall out of the cast. Don't rush this part though. The cast may have stuck to hairs not only hurting your subject, but also causing the plaster shell to detach from the alginate cast as it snags to the face. Talk with your subject. They can tell you where it is sticking, and together you can release it.

Try not to tear the alginate, if you have been unlucky enough for it to have completely fall apart from the shell, you may still be able to save it (very tricky though).  If all else fails, you may have to start the whole proccess over again (Understandably; if you have not made the experience as pleasent as possable for your subject, they may be hesitant!).
Assuming you have been successful, you are ready to begin filling your mould.
Place the cast face down;
You will need to shore it up to keep it from rolling over or crushing the nose. I use a towel rolled up and made into a nest.  Don't rush, but do it quickly as the alginate is already starting to shrink as the water evaporates from the cast. Firstly you have to block those airways or else the plaster will simply run out the two holes in the bottom of your cast.
From Craft shopsThe best way to do this is with a little modelling clay. If the alginate has come loose anywhere on the cast, you can use denture adhesive to stick it back in placeFrom Drug stores.


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Sculptor/model maker: Sylak  -   Artist/painter: Nicky

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This page was last reviewed by the WebMaster on 25/11/2000