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Ring of Hands | Page 2

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Figure 10. A four hand pose has been selected for the ring of hands casting project.

 

ArtMolds Lifecasting Series

The Pose. Experience has taught us that creating the pose is the most awkward part of the entire mold making process as all hands and arms must be flat on the table for the best results. That is why a little practice is necessary. Once you are satisfied with the pose. Places a plastic bag or newspaper on the table where the hands and arms will be placed to prevent any damage to the table top from the alginate you will apply. The mold making of a wealth of hands is particularly sloppy. For this project we have choosen to create a ring of four hands (See Figure 10.).

Participants. Comfort is critical for the best mold making results (See Figure 11.). Locate a flat surface where the participants can sit around.  The table cannot be too wide as the participant’s arms  will have to be in close proximity to each other so that they can hold each other’s wrist. So before preparing any material, practice their pose. Seat and position all participants  (as the process will tire out the models more quickly if they are standing). Have each person hold each other around the wrist, alternating the hands in the process. As an example, person one, holds person two’s wrist, person two, holds person three’s wrist and person there holds person’s one’s wrist. With three people involved, simply subtract the fourth hand, with five add the extra hand, and so on.

Posing for Ring of Hands

Figure 11. The participants are seated comfortably around a narrow table so that they do not have to stretch to maintain the pose.

 Time to Begin. When you are ready, put on your rubber gloves and mix the six pounds of water (96 ounces) with one pound of alginate (16 ounces). This mix ratio should be the consistency of the thickness of wet peanut butter. You need a thicker mix so that the alginate stays in place as it is applied. If your mix is a little thin, add more powder. If a little thick, add a bit more water. However, one of the characteristics of alginate is that the thicker the mix, the faster it sets. So if you mix it too thick at first, it may set up too fast before you can thin it down. So be conservative in adding the powder so it doesn’t over thicken. 

While you are mixing, have your participants take and hold the previously practiced pose so that they will be ready when you are ready to apply the alginate as soon as you have created a smooth alginate mixture.

 

 

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Figure 12. The alginate and water are combined and mixed with a wire kitchen whisk.

 

 

 

With your gloved hands, scoop up some alginate and carefully apply it to the posed hands as well as halfway up the forearms of each of the participants. Make certain that the alginate is placed into any gaps under the hands that are not absolutely flat on the table, as well as between the openings of any fingers and in the empty center of the ring. If you mixed the alginate thick enough, it should remain in place. If it is a little thin, scoop up onto any thin spots until the alginate begins to set.

 

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Figure 13. Add the alginate quickly, but thouroghly by scooping it out of the mixing bucket and applying it with your hands.

Make certain you cover the entire clutch of hands. You should add alginate further up the arm than you final cast will display as you will cut the arms square during the finishing process so they are evened off. As you are adding alginate watch for thin spots that may appear as a result from the material by pulled down by gravity.

 

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Figure 14. Cover the hands and arms evenly, avoiding any thin spots.

 

When the hands and arms are satisfactorily coated in the alginate and before the alginate sets, spray a generous amount of Algislo on the surface to keep the surface moist. This will create a sticky surfave to allow cotton fibers to stick to it during the next step.

 

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Figure 15. Once applied, immediately spray the entire alginate surface with a generous amount of AlgiSlo.

 
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