Baby Casting | Page 2

To determine the amount of molding powder you will need, pour the water into a measuring cup. 


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Figure 4.  Pour the water back into a measuring cup so you can determine the exact amount of water needed.

The mix ratio is 7 parts water to 1 part powder by weight. So if you show 7-Oz of water you should weigh out 1-Oz of Hollywood Impression. Using a separate container such as a kitchen bowl, to add your water first and the your powder second. 


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Figure 5. The mix ratio is 7 parts water to 1 part Hollywood Impressions SILFREE alginate. First add water to a mixing bowl, then add the correct amount of alginate.

Use a wire kitchen whisk to stir until creamy smooth and transfer the mix back into the mold container.

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Figure 6. Mix well using a wire kitchen whisk. This mixer-type reduces the amount of air incorporated into the alginate during the mixing process. You don’t want air bubbles.

Carefully pour the mixed alginate back into the molding container.  

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Figure 7. The alginate mix is returned to the mold container.

Creating the Mold

If it is a young baby, have the mother hold her in her arms. Gently take the baby’s forearm in your hand and guide the hand into the cup of alginate. Lower it in until you feel it touch the bottom. Then drop the cup slightly so that the baby’s hand does not touch the bottom. 


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Figure 8. Have mom hold her baby in her arms. This not only comforts your subjects, but helps to reduce unwanted wriggling.

Distraction in Action. Now the tricky part. The part that separates the good life casing artist from the not as good. Half the time the act of placing a baby’s hand in a new goopy media results in a wriggly hand at the very the least, and a crying baby at the most. So the secret to capturing a good casting is the combination of timing and simple distraction. Short of waiting until the baby is asleep, you have two simultaneous acts to pull off if you want to get a good casting. The first action is timing. That is, as described above, waiting about 30-45 seconds after mixing and transferring the alginate into the mold container so the baby’s hand in the container is delayed, and only in the container about 30-45 seconds before the alginate sets. The second, is distraction. Believe me, I have experimented with numerous distractions with marginal results until Dave Parvin suggested that I use  a motion of moving the cup up and down while the baby’s hand was in it. 



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Figure 9. Both mom and the life casting hold the baby’s forearm to steady it. While the life caster holds the molding container with the baby’s hand inside it.

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