Life Casting The Feet

A life cast is always a treasured keepsake. While hands and face are the common body parts favored for a life cast, recreating the feet also makes for a novel souvenir. Making it is a wonderful experience too!

Hands make beautiful life castings. They are very popular for commemorating special occasions, marking the birth of a baby or just celebrating with friends. The possibilities are endless – people try out different ideas - like a couple holding hands together, a rings of hands with friends, parents encircling the hands of a newborn child, a person holding a golf ball, a baseball glove or a trophy and so on.

These life castings can be made in plaster or even cold cast in metal or stone. They are finished with a brass name plate to mark the name, occasion and other details.

However, it’s not just the hands, even the feet have many a story to tell – a step, a movement or even just the position. A life cast of a foot is a complex creation that looks interesting due to the three-dimensional composition. Parents love to get a life cast of their newborn’s feet and even encircle the feet with their own hands to signify the inherent love, care and protection. The casts look beautiful and can be treasured forever.

Making a mold of the foot and then a life cast is also quite a challenge in itself. The leg is usually encased in a batch of alginate mixture. Deciding the pose and angle is important here. The model should feel comfortable while the foot is dipped in alginate. Care is also required as the drying alginate may tend to crack with the body weight itself.

In fact, foot molds are usually made in two parts as it is difficult to extract the leg from the alginate mold once it has set. Even if the life casting artist tries to make a cut to separate the leg from the alginate, the mold may be rendered useless. Making it in two parts is better with proper keys for the registration of the parts and sprue holes for releasing the trapped air.

The foot mold has to capture very many details right from the toes and nails to the folds in the skin, the indentations and even the tiny lines per se. In fact, the mold will also recreate the cracks in the soles of the feet et al. These have to be finished properly prior to the final casting to avoid reproducing them in the cast!

Often artists use trial and error to work out the best method of making the mold from the body. This calls for patience and foresight while making the body molds again and again.

Finally, the life cast of the feet, or any other body part or even the entire body should be finished with name plates engraved with the title, artist name and other details. This will give a professional, gallery finish to the life cast and add to the experience as well!

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