Have you ever marveled at human wax figures, like those at Madame Tussauds’, and thought the technology too complex to replicate at home? In fact, it can be simple and safe to create a small homemade wax or plaster figure, and a great place to start is with an alginate hand casting. Here are the basic four steps involved in a making a cast figure of your own hand, that is incredibly detailed down to the smallest groove.
Mixing Alginate with Water
First, you mix alginate powder with water, in the ratio that is given in the instructions that come with the powder. The warmer the water, the faster the mixture will set, but you should avoid hot water so it does not set too quickly. You want to stir it in a plastic bottle large enough to easily accommodate your hand without touching the walls, or transfer it into such a bottle after mixing.
Making Your Hand Impression
Then, you place your hand in the mixture and hold it there for two to five minutes until it sets and develops a rubbery texture. For effective life casting alginate, you wriggle your hand a little bit at first, to get rid of any air bubbles that might have gotten stuck on its surface. After the mixture sets, you take your hand out gently so as not to tear your new mold.
Pouring in Casting Material
Popular casting material are wax and plaster, but you can also use concrete, liquid stone and other materials as well. You pour in a small amount of your casting material at first – enough to establish a light coat on your mold as you roll it around. This is great for picking up all the details of the mold, and afterwards, you pour in the rest and let it stand for a few hours until dry.
Getting the Final Product
After the casting material hardens, you cut away the walls of your bottle and then peel away the mold carefully with a utility knife. To get rid of any stubborn bits of mold left over, you can let your casting soak in a baking soda and water mixture (1/4 cup of baking soda per liter of water) for a few hours and then use a toothbrush to remove residue.
To sum up alginate hand casting: youmake a mold mixture, insert your hand into it to make a mold, pour in wax/ plaster into the mold, and peel away the mold to reveal your casting. This is usually all it takes to create a lifelike copy of your own hand, and to get a final product that looks worthy of a crafts-master!