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Bronze baby feet

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Frequently asked questions about life casting

Q 1. Is it safe to take an impression directly from my baby’s delicate skin?

Absolutely. Obviously this is the foremost consideration for both model and artist. A substance called alginate, commonly used by dentists to take precise dental impressions, is used for all my life casts. Since it can be trusted for oral use in the highly-regulated dental profession, you can be assured that its application, even to baby’s new and delicate skin, is completely safe. Derived from algae, no known allergic reactions have been noted throughout its extensive use.

Q 2. What is the actual process?

The process is completely painless, involving the immersion of the model’s hand or foot in a tub of cool ‘gloop’ something akin to thick yoghurt. The model may wriggle a little as they get used to the strange and new sensation, which is not a problem since the alginate takes 2-3 minutes to set. Once the casting material hardens, it is still flexible enough for the model’s hand or foot to be gently withdrawn from the mould. This is the limit of your baby’s involvement.

Once this initial mould is made, I then pour a special plaster into the ‘negative mould’, wait for 20-25 minutes until it sets, at which stage the alginate is chipped away to reveal a beautiful plaster version of baby’s hands or feet. This allows you to be sure you are happy with the result and to discuss the ankle or wrist length and the style of display.

The following video is a demonstration of a baby having their feet cast

Q 3. How long do I need to schedule in for the casting session?

Allow at least an hour for a pair of hands or feet. Upon arrival at your home I will show you samples and discuss your requirements, set out my materials, and together we will get baby comfortable before taking the casts, which takes just 2-3 minutes per hand/foot. Whilst waiting for the plaster version to set, I clear up, we sort out any paperwork, and then the rest of the process is carried out off-site.

I want the whole experience to be fun, and as relaxing as possible, so please don’t worry if your child won’t settle at first. It is my responsibility to make sure I don’t need to rush you, so if you have other children to collect from school or nursery, we will schedule your appointment so that you have plenty of time to spare.

Q 4. How much does it cost, and how do I pay?

Most prices are displayed on the individual pages, and there is a summary Price List at the top of this page. This is the total price you pay, including secure delivery, unless you are outside the 40-mile travel radius (20 miles for framed sets). If you do live farther away, please ask for rates. you can find Casting Queen on Google Maps.

I ask for a 50% deposit at the time of casting, which can be paid with cash, a cheque or bank transfer. The balance is payable by the same methods on the day your casts are despatched back to you. I reserve the right to clear cheques before shipping.

Silver plated shoes

Q 5. How long until I get the finished product?

Generally I say 8-10 weeks for bronze or silver pieces, 3-4 weeks for cold cast bronze, and 1-2 weeks for framed plaster sets. Electro-plated shoes will be returned to you within 4-6 weeks.

In reality, these delivery times are often reduced and, especially if you have a special occasion, I will do my utmost to meet any reasonable deadline. Please discuss this at the time of booking.

Q 6. Can multiple copies be made from a mould?

Yes. I keep the moulds from all past work stored at my premises so that further copies can be ordered at any time – and at reduced prices – making them a perfect gift for grandparents or godparents. You could also, for example, repeat one single hand or foot from the pair you originally commissioned – a luxuriously indulgent paperweight for your partner …

For framed plaster sets, no repeat mould is made unless you specify this at the time of casting, in which case there will be an additional charge of £25.00.

Q 7. How is the finished piece returned to me?

I can either post the item to you using a suitable Royal Mail service or you can collect from my premises in Ewhurst, Surrey.

Any other Questions

If there is anything I have not covered which you would like clarification on, do please email or call me on 01483 279870. Julia, aka Casting Queen