Monday, May 25, 2009
Remember these? A while back I posted about a silly spontaneous casting of innie and outie belly buttons. Given the slight weirdness of the entire exercise, I was somewhat bemused by the number of emailed requests for a ‘How To’. Apologies it has taken several eternities to pull it together, but here it is, courtesy of the sculptor guy, Mr Myrtleandeunice.
Belly Button Casting (giggle fits guaranteed)
• Mixing container (i.e. 2lt ice cream container)
• Kid-sized snack yoghurt pot with the bottom cut out
• Light moisturising cream (i.e. sorbolene or aqueous)
• Approx half a cup of alginate. This is the stuff dentists use to make a cast of your teeth, it’s completely non toxic and sets rapidly. It is available from specialist modelmaking and some craft shops, or try your dentist!
• Plasticine or clay (about the size of a golf ball)
• Approx half cup of Plaster of Paris
1. Lay newspaper down to protect surfaces. Ask model to lie on their back.
2. Thoroughly apply a small amount of moisturising cream in and around belly button (this helps the alginate to move over the skin and release from the skin once set).
3. Place the yoghurt pot with the cut-out base facing up, centrally over the belly button. Gently hold the pot in place at the rim.
4. Measure out the water and the alginate powder, following the instructions on the pack. Depending on the alginate, you will have 30 to 120 seconds after the powder comes into contact with the water and before it sets, so be ready to do this next bit speedily. (nb. Often, it's a good idea to do a practice walk-through so that everyone understands the process).
5. DO NOT allow the alginate to come into contact with any fabric, clothing, carpet curtains or hairy pets etc. it will NOT come out (the Mr has rock solid proof with many ex-favourite t-shirts in his wardrobe. Not that he generally spends his time moulding belly buttons).
6. Add the water to the alginate powder and mix thoroughly and vigorously. Bubbles are fine but lumps are not.
7. With your finger, quickly smear a little of the mix over the belly button then pour in a couple of inches of the alginate, don't be tempted to wash out the mixing bowl or your hands – just let the alginate set, then peel off.
8. Once the alginate has set, ask your model to push out their belly as much as they can. This should release the alginate from the skin. Gently lift off the pot and there you have a perfect belly button ‘negative’ (i.e. an ‘innie’ should look like an ‘outie’ and vice versa).
9. Roll a sausage shape out of the clay/plasticine and flatten it slightly, pinch this onto the rim of the yoghurt pot to form a ‘wall’ 1-2cm high.
10. Mix your Plaster of Paris as per directions on the pack and pour into the walled yoghurt pot mould. Pour it out again. Tap the side of the pot to pop any air bubbles then fill with plaster again.
11. Leave to cure overnight. The following morning, carefully remove the plaster from the pot and peel away the alginate.
Any queries, feel free to email me and I'll handball them over to the expert...