Life casting is a historic art technique practiced by several ancient cultures. For example Egyptian Pharaohs and other royal citizens would have their likeness captured for eternity, by a direct impression method before being skillfully cast in precious metal.
In the 17th century the emperor Napoleon and others of that time were immortalized, usually after death. Their faces frozen in the serenity of unconsciousness have come to be called "Death Masks"
One notable exception to the death mask is the Volk Life Mask of Abraham Lincoln, which was made while Lincoln was still an Illinois lawyer. The mask was made on Saturday, March 31, 1860.
Lincoln said, "It's a process that was anything but agreeable."
Unlike today's process used at Fabricated Concepts aka Kelly Tracy Art. Our clients have stated, "The experience is similar to receiving a hydrating facial"
In the past, the primitive materials and techniques utilized often limited the artists' ability to reproduce their subject's likeness. They would smear their subject's skin with animal fat trying to prevent the inevitable sticking which crude clays and plasters are notorious for. Not only did this obscure most of the fine skin detail but, frequently resulted in the subjects loosing a great deal of hair during the removal Process.
Plasters cure by a chemical reaction called hydration, which can generate a great deal of heat. Enough heat to cause mild to severe burns to most human skin if not extremely careful.
Now there are much safer impression materials such as alginate. Originally developed for dental impressions. We at Fabricated Concepts aka Kelly Tracy Art prefer to use alginate because it is a safe non-toxic material derived from algae and captures excellent detail.
Life Casting Procedure
We welcome friends, parents, spouses and other mature guests, preferably no more than 2 guests at a time during a molding session. The process involved is messy and the work requires constant attention by everyone involved.
Wear comfortable clothes or you may disrobe and drape a sheet, towel or any other appropriate covering.
To minimize the possibility of body hair sticking in the mold, lotion and or hair conditioner may be used as a release on the appropriate body part being molded. We will make sure your reasonably comfortable considering the pose chosen before applying the molding material.
Please stay still until the molding process is completed. The molding material is mixed with water until it has the consistency of cake batter. You need to hold the same position for 10 - 25 minutes, depending on area to be molded. After mixing the molding material, we have to move fast, and you need to hold still.
As the molding material finishes setting we start applying strips of plaster bandage. The plaster bandage forms a stiff shell (Mother Mold) to contain the soft molding material.
After everything has hardened, removal is relatively easy. Finally, you get to wash off. From this point your participation is not necessary although you are welcome to watch the mixing and poring of the casting material.
Your finished life cast body sculpture may be ready for pick up or delivery with in 1 - 4 weeks.
Life cast body sculpture immortalizes your favorite features for generations to enjoy