Hand Casting

Hands make an extraordinary life casting gift because of their texture and expressiveness. They are also one of the simplest life casting sculptures to produce in terms of size, preparation time, modeling ease, use of material and space needed to create the mold and casting. In this example, we have chosen to cast a hand while holding an object. This gives special relevance to the sculpture and to the owner of the hand especially if their interest is the sport related to the object they are holding such as a lacrosse ball, a badminton bird, tennis ball, hockey puck, softball and so on. We will take you go step-by-step through the molding and casting process to make certain it is clear.

We have selected this slightly advanced hand cast instruction, because the most basic of hand casting, is done without holding anything, yet it follows the same procedure, sans the object held. So we provide two lessons in one set of instructions.

Preparation:

The process begins with a conatiner large enough for your hand and the object it will hold. You will need 1-pound of MoldGel Regular Set SILFREE alginate for the project.

The one pound package of MoldGel is sprinkled in the container. Always add powder to the water or lumps will develop that are hard to remove with stirring.

Now pour the water into a measuring cup to see how much you actually have. It will help measure it against the quantity of alginate powder you will need.

A wire kitchen whisk is used for stirring. This reduces the amount of air incorporated into the mix that can develop using a stick or spoon. Air creates air bubbles that can mar your mold.

The next step is to mix the CastRite casting plaster according to label directions. A whisk is used for this procedure as well. Though gloved hands work just as well. The mixture is ready when it reaches the consistency of yogurt.

After the MoldGel has set to a rubber-like consistency,  the model wriggles their fingers to break the suction of the MoldGel against the skin. Releasing the mouse, and with a slow upward pressure the hand is removed.

This picture shows the CastRite sitting on top of the water. When this phenomenon occurs, you have added enough plaster to the water. 

The mold is completely filled to the top.

Now that the mold has been filled, rap the sides for several minutes to remove the large air bubbles. You will see bubbles coming to the surface. Once the bubbles stop you can stop rapping.

After about an hour and a half your casting should be set enough to demold. Complete setting takes about 24-48 hours. Remove the plastic molding container and carefully place its contents upside down to drain any excess water from the mold.

Very carefully tear away at the gelled alginate to expose your new casting. The casting is not yet completely cured, and you can damage it if not careful. Fingers are easily broken at this stage. But with a little Super Glue, they are easily fixed. De-molding now makes clean up easier.

Once the piece has been de-molded it will require some clean up. An old tooth brush and a sharp pointed object make the job easier.

After clean up, the finished piece is proudly displayed. After about 48-hours the piece should be sealed with clear or a mattepolyurethanesealer. You can also choose to paint it if you wish.