Commissions

 

 

 

We are delighted to do commissioned pieces. Prices range from around $150 for a face to $2000 or more for an ambitious work of art. Most commissions have been in the range of $300-$1200. To some extent, your decision how perfect the finished piece should be determines price; or, the more you pay, the more time I put into your piece. They can be cast of real bronze for considerably more money. A painted finish adds to the price as well.
Read through this page first, please.

 

About modelling

Lifecast modelling is very different from photo modelling. Your ability to hold still for about 20 minutes is more important than your smile. You don't have to freeze that long, but you do for about five minutes while the first layer of plaster is setting, or cracks will run all through it. The willpower to ignore little itches and the ability to suppress yawning and swallowing is very important.

Preparing yourself

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Since plaster casting grabs your hairs, the less you have, the better. Some people have a fine down all over. Greasing with oil or Vaseline is always done, but the hairs will let you know how they feel even though most pull out of the plaster and remain with you. So less is always better. If you do not shave your pubic hair, we will put plaster gauze bandage over that area if it is in the composition. It has enough plaster to stiffen but not enough to surround many hairs.
  If you oil yourself earlier in the day, after a shower or by using suntan oil, we will have the easiest release possible.
  I asked one of my early models how it felt. She said, "It's kind of uncomfortable, but compared with the things women do to themselves for beauty's sake, this is nothing."
  You need to wear loose clothing for about an hour before your modelling session so there won't be lines in your skin from lingerie and waistbands. These are very noticeable in the statue and really hard to patch and repair.

 

The pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  If I am paying you to model, I will suggest poses I want to do. You must speak up if you believe you won't be able to keep that pose and I will heed you. I will also create posing structures and props to help steady you. Since I'm paying you, we won't waste time.
  If you are paying me for a commissioned piece, we will work at a more relaxed pace. You will show me the pose you want. I may suggest changes if I think you are going to have trouble holding it, or if the pose does not look that good to me, or if it presents big technical problems. People have often wanted to be posed the same way as another statue of mine they have seen. Sometimes the result is disappointing. I think your pose should take advantage of your best features.
  Since first attempts are usually flawed, we may try a simple smaller mold first, to introduce you to the process.
  Some portrait busts do not look like the model if it is her eyes that make the face. I do not care to sculpt your eyes open or fool with glass eyes.
  Once we decide on a pose, you can relax for a couple of minutes while I start mixing plaster and make other preparations.

 

Modesty 

 

 

 

  Obviously, anyone who consents to lifecasting is not the shyest flower in the garden. But you can wear garments to shroud what isn't being cast. I will shroud those areas anyway just to keep plaster spatter off them.
  It is possible to cast tight clothing, but the clothing will suffer being yanked out of the mold. We will paint or dip the garments in soapy water first.

 

Friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

  You are welcome to bring a friend or two to the modelling session. Three rules:
  •  No friend who "always cracks you up" please!
  •  Nobody who is drunk.
  •  Nobody who really does not approve of this. Somehow they make it uncomfortable.

  Your friend may take pictures of the process or be asked to help a little. But I won't explain everything I do to them as I go along. I will be working hard and reassuring you, the model.

 

What to expect

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Be on time or call me. We will have the area cleared and clean, and no regular work or other visitors will be permitted.
  Undress quickly and put on a robe if you like. Wear flip-flops (can't call them thongs any more!) for walking around the shop.
  Body-piercing jewelry is a problem. Plaster will surround and grab them. I have a couple of tricks but removing them is best. Tattoos will not show up unless there is scarring.
  By "we," I mean I may have an assistant. I may need someone mixing new plaster as bowl #1 is thickening up. More ambitious poses require more experienced hands to complete.
  After the mold comes off you, we will quickly sponge and scrape the plaster droplets off your skin. The area we molded will be the cleanest part of you, along with areas we shrouded. Your skin will look red when the mold is pulled, but will fade quickly.
  Most models cannot take more than 3 1/2 hours of this business. Don't push it. This is work, not a party.

 

Why you do it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My models have often talked about why they are doing this. Vanity is not the main reason! Anyway, some vanity is a good thing. Some of my models started doing it for the money. I pay in full when the session ends, by company check. But then they grow interested in the artistic process. They often ask to come back to see me knock the mold off the lifecast. I always tell them about art openings where the statue of them will appear, so they can be there - or avoid it! 
  Many of my sales in the past few years have been to my early models who are now married with children. They are coming back to buy the piece they originally posed for just for the money.
  Some of my models say they like being part of the art process or the art world. They say my work is beautiful and are flattered I want to work with them. Many beautiful people do not think they are. Seeing themselves in my statues gives them new confidence.
  Several women have come to me, shown me the toystore, and asked if they could model for me. I say 'Yes,' usually, and they go off happy, never to return. So I must be giving them the Artist's Seal of Approval.
  Those paying for commissioned pieces are usually giving presents to a mate. You can't find these at Walmart! Some keep the statues for themselves. Vanity is part of this, but so is the desire to show you are bold and free-spirited. 

In the movie business, lifecasting is a common practice in special effects (f/x.) Want to get used to it now?
Both men and women who have worked out and gotten into great shape like to immortalize their achievement.

And keep this in mind: Many women come up and tell me, "I sure wish I had done this when I was young!"

 

Why I do it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  I came to doing this from my three artistic interests: sculpting, moldmaking and photography. The moldmaking is my living, as you can see by looking through my Archicast site. Photography has been my hobby since high school. While I am good at it, there is something so striking about a good lifecasting, and so few people do them, that I have made an artistic niche for myself in lifecasting.
  I am old enough to have watched many wonderful bodies undergo the effects of time, and wished they had been immortalized in their prime.
  People have told me about porn stars selling rubber casts, and about fitness models being laser-scanned. No, thanks. These quiet, peaceful, graceful works are what I want to do.

I have studied Greek, Roman and European marble sculpture, and I notice how they smooth away the interesting little hills and valleys to create their ideal beauty. I think real bodies are more beautiful. I know how to sculpt, too, but as I say, there is something about a lifecasting that grabs you.

You are looking at a nude body, but not at a live person who expects you to react or speak or perform. You can quietly study the most beautiful thing there is.


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