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Ear Casting | Page 1

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Figure 1. Typical ear.


 Ear Casting

Ears are one of the most delicate body parts due to their intricacy and thinness, thus they need special care their reproduction. This section describes the methods involved in artistic ear casting rather than medical ear casting. Medical ear casting is done by an audiologist or an Orthotists for fitting hearing aids or even replacing an ear. The mold making is usually done with silicone rubber, most often with a premix in a syringe that is squirted into or on the air to create a mold of the inner or exterior ear.

Instead, we will explain the two most common artistic methods used in ear casting. The first method is usually employed by E F/X artists to create a complete ear, often cast in silicone  and flesh colored for a realistic looking ear (Figure 1). The second method is the one employed by life casting artists who are creating a ¾ or whole head casting. In that case, creating a perfect ear is a requirement for a professional looking results.

The E F/X Method. The quickest and simplest way to cast an ear is by cutting a 16-oz Dixie cup in half and retaining the part with both open ends. The model is then seated and given a pillow upon which to lay their head – one ear is down on the pillow, while the other, to be cast, is facing up (Figure 2.). The cup is placed over the ear with the model holding it in place. FiberGel alginate is mixed at a ratio of 5 ounces (142 grams) of FiberGel alginate to one pound (454 grams) of water.

The materials are listed below:


Figure 2. The model lies on a pillow with the ear to be cast facing up. The bottom of a 16 Oz. Dixie cup is slice off and the model holds the remainer of the cup around her ear.


Molding Materials:

  • 1/2 lb. alginate.
  • 1-lb. plaster art stone
  • (2 )2.5 gallon mixing buckets
  • (6) cotton ear swabs
  • (1) 9'x12' plastic drop cloth; use some to cover the floor and some to cover your model
  • Cloth towels, for cleanup and model comfort
  • Paper towels
  • Hairband to pull back the hair 

When the mix is smooth and creamy it is slowly poured into the mold cup (Figure 3) until it has covered the ear to about a depth of one inch at the highest point of the ear. This thickness is important since the mold is being made without the standard shell mold. The thickness of the alginate along is enough to support the mold for casting. 


Ear Examples

Figure 3. Alginate is poured into the cup to a depth of about one inch above the highest part of the ear.

 The alginate is poured slowly to one side and allowed to envelop the ear rather than pouring haphazardously. This method pushes our and trapped surface air whic later may result in air bubbles.  

Ear Examples

Figure 4. Pour the alginate on one side until the mold is filled to about one inch above the hihest point of the ear.


Wait at least two minutes after the alginate has set before you de-mold. When you do so, de-mold slowly and carefully. The mold should slowly pull away from the ear. 


Ear Examples

Figure 5. When the alginate has cured the mold is removed and inspected for stray particles.



Inspect the mold (Figure 5.) for any loose particles and then flip it on its back. Mix casting plaster, resin or silicone, according to the manufacturer’s instruction on the label. Carefully paint the csting material into the mold. Allow a few minutes for the 'face coat' to set up and then fill the mold by pouring in the casting material to overflow.  After the casting cures you can strip away the alginate to reveal your newly cast ear (Figure 6.).


Ear Examples

Figure 6. When the alginate has cured the mold is removed and inspected for stray particles.


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