Monday, October 17, 2011

Let me give you a hand

I have now given IronMan yet another reason to be leery asking the “what are we doing this weekend?” question. The answer of “stick your hand in this bucket of goo and don’t move it for 8 minutes” resulted in a doubtful, quizzical look. But as it wasn’t preceded by “do you mind?” he did as he was told and has now been immortalized in plaster! At least his hand has.

After reading about the joys of alginate powder, surprisingly hard to find in Toronto, I was overly excited to start make molds and castings of various body parts. Minds out of the gutter people ~ it is Halloween after all. The good people at Michael’s (the arts and crafts experts) didn’t even know what alginate was but were good enough to sell me a tub of plaster powder. And with my 40% off coupon, happily went on my way.

Sculpture Supply Canada, on the appropriately named Munster Ave, was discovered by IronMan with a few flicks and clicks of his iPhone and we were off to our next destination. Not only did I get the powder I needed, but if I ever want to make rubber masks of my friends (or enemies, less the straws up the nose for breathing) I know where to go.

If I may, I would like to share a couple tips. First, try not to curl your fingers back too much. If you do, put some slightly more watery plaster in the mold first and give it a good shake about. Otherwise you’ll get air pockets and could get the ends of your fingers cut off, and who wants that?

Tip two, if you plan on reusing the mold; keep your fingers relatively straight and closer together. That way, the mold will slip off the cast and you won’t have to cut it into so many pieces it will only be good for a single use.

Finally, for maximum casting size, put your hand, foot etc, deep into the alginate and just touch the bottom then retreat about half and inch.

A sanding of the base here, a bit of sandpaper there and a light coat of grey paint for added pallor and I will have 3 left hands and two right, what fun! I do recommend it as an activity for all.


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