Making Body Molds with Plaster Bandages

Who says plaster bandages can only be used to make a mother mold? The plaster infused gauze can also be applied directly on some parts of the body to make form molds that are later used for life casting.

Plaster bandages are normally used to make a shell mold to reinforce the flexible alginate or silicone body molds. The plaster in the bandages sets to form a rigid structure that encases the flexible mold and helps it retain its shape.

However, the plaster bandages can directly be applied on the skin to make form molds as well. This is used on areas like the stomach, back, thighs and arms which do not have much contours or undercuts. The bandages are most common for making pregnancy molds of the abdomen to capture the shape of an expecting mother for posterity.

Following is a look at what goes into making a body mold with plaster bandages:

  • The model has to be prepped for the session – the artist should inform him or her about the process, like what to expect and how much time it will take. Discuss the pose and ensure that the model can stay in the position for half an hour or so. Props or support may be required.
  • Prepare the area for the session by lining the floor with a waterproof covering as the dried plaster can prove difficult to remove. The artist should also wear a protective apron or old clothing that can be discarded later.
  • An appropriate mold release – like petroleum jelly or olive oil – should be applied on the body as this will make it easy to remove the mold without pulling on the body hair.
  • The bandages have to be rolled out and wet before applying. Here it is better to use warm water as the wet bandage can chill the skin and become uncomfortable for the model.
  • Lay the strips on the body one at a time starting from the top and moving towards the bottom. Make sure to overlap them to form a strong mold. It is better to keep changing the direction of the bandages when building the layers and make them thicker at the edges. This will serve as a good grip when it comes to demolding.
  • Work out the air bubbles when applying the bandages. However, do not press down too hard as this will form dents and can even deform the mold.
  • Once done, let the mold set and dry before demolding. Carefully run a finger under the edges to break the seal from the skin. The mold can then be lifted off easily from the body.
  • Place it on a soft surface with the hollow side down and let it cure properly. It can then be varnished for some extra protection.

Plaster gauze bandages and other materials and supplies needed for making a life cast can be easily sourced at EnvironMolds. The art supplier manufactures and stocks top quality products and tools and is more than willing to assist with tips and instructions as well.


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