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Baby Casting | Page 3

The up and down motion seemed to work in most cases, distracting the baby momentarily as to what was going on with his hand, while the alginate was curing. As you move the cup you can feel the resistance created by the alginate as it cures. So that when it becomes more difficult to move up and down, hold it still for ten-fifteen seconds to allow the alginate to snap set. This method works in the majority of cases, but of course is not fool proof. Sometimes you will have finished a baby casting session sans baby casting. Remember, life casting is an art and not science – sometimes art flops. If that is the case, you’ll just have to postpone the session for another day, perhaps when it is nap time.

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Figure 10. The life caster moves the molding container up and down the baby’s hand which distracts the baby and reduces the baby’s desire to move it.


Mold of Last Resort. Yes, there is a last resort that will save the day and your reputation as a professional studio life casting artist, but it requires that you sacrifice a terry cloth wash cloth. Lay the washcloth on a flat surface and place a scoop alginate in the center, spreading it out so that you you have about a 6-inch circle of alginate which is about an inch, to an inch and one half thick. Ask mom to hold her baby’s forearm to steady it and then using both your hands, carefully wrap the terry cloth around baby’s hand – alginate side in – so that you it have completely encased around the baby’s hand and wrist with the alginate. Keep your hand gently, but firmly clutched around the baby’s hand, allowing it to move as the baby’s hand moves. Once the alginate sets, carefully open the terry cloth slightly and pull the alginate mold off of the baby’s hand. You should have succeeded in obtaining a very good hand casting mold following this novel procedure. 


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Figure 11. A less desireable method (but works well) for creating a baby's hand mold is using a washcloth filled with alginate held firmly around the baby's hand. This method is used on baby's whose hand won't stay still long enough for the normal mold  container method.


Pouring the Casting. Due to the size of the mold you will not need much material to create a casting. The mix ratio for CastRite is 10 parts CastRite to 7 parts water by weight. The best way to calculate this is to fill your newly made mold with water. Then pour it out into a measuring cup. Since a pound of water conveniently equal sixteen ounces, then if the measuring cup reads 8 Oz, that means your water is requirement is also 8-Oz. The formula is 10/7 + x/8=0 if you remember your algrebra. But if you don’t like to solve for X, there is a simpler way. Pour the water into a cup or container and then spoon out a little CastRite and mix it with the water. Continue adding CastRite until you have a mixture the consistency of a thick heavy cream or a thin yogurt. That is all there is to it.

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Figure 12.When the mold is removed, it inspected to make certain no loose alginate particles have fallen inside.


Carefully pour it into your mold and fill to the top. Tap the mold on its sides for about a minute to help drive air bubbles to the top of the fill hole. Then leave your mold undisturbed for three hours.


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Figure 13. CastRite powder is measured out in the clear container and water is contained in the measuring cup. The ratio of casting powder is 10 parts powder to 7 parts water. An empty cup and a mixing stick are ready to do their job.


De-Molding. After three hours, check the surface of the casting material to make certain it has solidified. If so, it is time to de-mold. If not, let it continue to be left undisturbed until it does set. Slip the alginate out of the cup or container it is in. It might be necessary to slice the side of the cup to release the mold block of alginate so that it can be removed. Once you have removed it, carefully slice down about  two thirds of the way on each side of the mold. Be very careful you do not touch the cats inside as it is still soft enough to be damaged.


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Figure 14. The casting powder and water are combined and mixed so that the mixture is lump-free.




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Figure 15. When the casting plaster mixture is smooth, it is poured into the mold to the top and left undisturbed for three hours.

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