Here you can find some helpful information about the lifecasting process from beginning to end.
What should we wear?
Both you and your baby should wear clothes that 'don't matter'. The casting material does come out of some clothes if cleaned up quickly, but who wants the bother of extra work when you can just come in something old and relax throughout the whole process. Often it is only the caster who will get messy.
How long will it take to get a finished cast?
It can take up to two months to get a finished cast, depending on the size, and season.
I would like you to make me something but I can't see it on your website. Can you make it?
Probably, yes. We love being challenged and we love to learn, so please let us know what ideas you have and we will do everything in our power to make it happen for you. There's no such thing as a silly question
Will it hurt my baby/child
Absolutely not. All materials that come in contact with the child's skin are completely safe and non-toxic. The process itself is very gentle. The only part of the process that can be tricky for a young child or baby is keeping still for the 5-7 minutes it takes to get a good cast. With babies we achieve this by trying to cast them when they are napping or having a snack or otherwise distracted by something they enjoy. With toddlers this is usually achieved with a mixture of distraction, bribery (whatever their favourite snack is, or getting to pet the bunny). With older children usually an explanation of what they will achieve or a small treat is enough to persuade them. Remember that although your baby may cry, they are not being hurt in any way - simply annoyed with you for making them do something strange or possibly just confused that one moment they can wiggle that thing on the end of that other thing they have and suddenly they can't wiggle it any more. For 5-7 minutes of annoyance, you and they will get a lifetime of pleasure from capturing their tiny hand/feet in totally realistic sculpture. It is something you and they could never regret having done, and will provide endless fascination to them as they grow and compare the size of their hand/foot 'now' to how sweet and small it was 'then'.
How is it done?
A casting gel called Alginate (made from a seaweed-derivative) is applied to the skin to capture detail and texture, and this is then backed up by layers of warm plaster bandage to create a shell. After you leave, we use this mould to cast out a copy of your pregnant body made out of cement, and other support materials.
How long does it take?
We recommend you allow an hour to two hours for most casting sessions, including time to prep the model and clean you up afterwards. The actual time you will be in the cast depends on what pose you have decided on. For a belly on its own, it might take as little as 20 minutes of sitting.
Can you come out to me or do I have to come to you?
You come to me. The studio is perfectly set up for casting and we don't have to worry about making a mess of your floor. We are also told frequently by our clients that being cast at the studio is an important part of experience, immersing yourself in the colourful artsy environment of an artist's studio for a couple of hours, seeing the many interesting samples and feeling inspired. So do come to us if you can.
When is the best time to have a pregnancy cast done?
We recommend coming between your 7th and 8th month, depending on how big your bump is and if you have any history of premature births.
Can you get rid of my cellulite/stretchmarks/scars?
The answer is yes. But what we would love you to know is that the little imperfections we all see in ourself in the mirror and judge so harshly can actually look really good in casts. They can make the stone look much more feminine and fleshy, even sexy in some cases. Seeing ourselves in sculpture we can see ourselves more objectively and judgements don't tend to be as harsh. We don't like to strip all the life out of the lifecasts so we prefer not to sand you to oblivion or you will end up looking as lifeless as a mannequin. However, if there is an area of your body that you feel negative about and want some artistic help with, or if the eye is drawn to a particular area of the cast for the wrong reasons, then we will absolutely do what is necessary to present you in the best light possible. We want you to love your cast, so we will work with you to achieve something awesome that you can be proud to show off to whomever you choose. We can soften scars so that they are still there (after all, they are a part of you) but don't draw the eye or dominate the cast, or we can remove them altogether. It completely depends on how you feel about your body and how you want to be represented in your bodycast sculpture. We won't judge you for asking and we certainly won't judge you for how you do or don't look. Every human body is a beautiful canvas to us with so much potential for artistic expression.
Do you have disabled access/wheelchair ramps?
Unfortunately, my casting studio is based in my home. We will always do whatever we can to accommodate you. I can create the same experience in the lower lever for those who can't do many stairs.
Adult hand clasps/casts
Will the process damage our wedding/engagement rings?
No, not at all. Your beautiful rings are perfectly safe from the alginate. If you are not sure if your ring can be part of the cast, please send a photo and ask. Alecia is experienced with fixing any details on rings that do not show up do to air bubbles.
Can I do the same thing with a cheap kit?
Yes, but no. You will not achieve the same amount of details from a home kit. Tricky hand positions can create air pockets that aren't easily fixed at home. Alecia has the knowledge and skill on how to create a proper cast. The studio is a bright and fun environment for kids and adults to enjoy. These castings last forever and are worth every penny.
If your dog is likely to be seriously distressed by having their paws touched for a few minutes then this might not be the best thing to do for your pet even though the process is safe and painless for them. However, with you cuddling or holding the front of the dog and feeding it treats (please bring any favourites), and me working quickly with the back paw, most dogs won't even notice what's happening before it is finished.