It begins with a conversation. We will discuss your wishes and choose the right pose – you will have to remain in it for approximately half an hour; this time doubles for a full torso and a bust. Respective part of the body will be reproduced by means of a high quality plaster dressing used for making a mould. Any gypsum remains on the skin can be easily removed by taking a shower.
The work for the model ends here, whilst my work just gets going. Gypseous alabaster or another material is poured into this mould. Afterwards, the negative can be separated from the positive. Unfortunately, the shell (the negative mould) is destroyed in the process and it cannot be used again. For this reason every gypsum lifecast is a unique copy. The casting and drying time is followed by many mending works before the surface of the cast can be shaped further.
The completion of the body sculpture varies depending on the size and material of the cast. You have to count on 3 – 4 weeks completion time for a half torso and 2 – 4 months for a full torso and a bust to turn into an artwork.
Taking off the plaster gypsum mould in pictures:
Papier mache body cast
Lifecasts made of paper and papier-mâché are thin and light but amazingly accurate. As compared to gypsum ones, they are unbreakable.
Paper lifecasting is less known than the very common plaster one. Again, there are several possible ways of making a papier-mâché torso.
With majority of my paper sculptures, the gypsum lifecast serves as a model that was „copied“ and/or alienated by means of the papier-mâché technique. It means that a gypsum lifecast has to be made first in order to get a paper statue of the body part. As a rule, you can get several different paper casts from a gypsum lifecast (negative or positive ones) without destroying it in the process.
I use alginate for small lifecasts, like those of the mouth, hand or foot. As this material is also used for dental imprints, it is harmless even for children. Alginate can reproduce every detail of the skin very accurately; you can see every pore and wrinkle.
This post is also available in Slovensky.