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How to Make a Mold for a Pregnancy Belly Cast with Body Double®

Guy Tedesco is an accomplished artist and mold maker from Indiana.  Recently, a client commissioned a unique project.  She was looking to have a mold made of her own torso.

The unique challenge: The model was 7.5 months pregnant.

Her goal was to have Tedesco create a lasting memento of her pregnancy – a pregnancy belly cast.  The priority, of course, was safety.  Tedesco, an experienced Smooth-On product user, knew he needed a material as unique as the project itself.  Smooth-On’s Body Double® lifecasting silicone was the only material Tedesco considered for this project because of its ACMI safety rating.

Body Double® is measured 1A : 1B by volume (no scale necessary) and mixes easily without entrapping air. It butters onto the skin and holds vertical or inverted surfaces (i.e. under the chin).

There are two speeds available: FAST SET (for small areas like the face) with a working time of 90 seconds and a cure time of 6 minutes & STANDARD SET (for large areas like a full torso) with a working time of 6 minutes and a cure time of about 20 minutes.

A Body Double® rubber mold is stretchy-strong and lets you cast wax, plaster, plastics, silicone or urethane rubber and other materials.  This sequence outlines Guy Tedesco's life casting process, including creating a cold cast bronze reproduction belly cast using Smooth-Cast® resin from Smooth-On.

To see more of Guy Tedesco's work, please visit his website at: www.guytedesco.com


 Having all mold making materials and supplies assembled prior to beginning the process will save time and avoid potential problems. Disposable cups, mixing sticks and brushes are used for measuring, mixing and applying the silicone rubber.

Having all mold making materials and supplies assembled prior to beginning the process will save time and avoid potential problems. Disposable cups, mixing sticks and brushes are used for measuring, mixing and applying the silicone rubber.
 A tilting padded model stand is used to make a process as comfortable as possible for the model.

A tilting padded model stand is used to make a process as comfortable as possible for the model.
 The model is 7 1/2 months pregnant.  Body Double® is the only rubber the artist considered because of its ACMI safety rating.

The model is 7 1/2 months pregnant. Body Double® is the only rubber the artist considered because of its ACMI safety rating.
 Although Body Double® will not stick to human skin, it will encapsulate hair. Body Double® Release Cream is applied to prevent sticking to hair.

Although Body Double® will not stick to human skin, it will encapsulate hair. Body Double® Release Cream is applied to prevent sticking to hair.
 Body Double® STANDARD SET  is measured properly, mixed thoroughly and applied directly onto the skin.

Body Double® STANDARD SET is measured properly, mixed thoroughly and applied directly onto the skin.
 The skin surface is covered with the first layer of Body Double®. The recommended thickness for the mold 3/8'' (1 cm) - some areas may be a little thicker.

The skin surface is covered with the first layer of Body Double®. The recommended thickness for the mold 3/8'' (1 cm) - some areas may be a little thicker.
 Body Double® will adhere to itself, so multiple layers of silicone are applied on top of each other.

Body Double® will adhere to itself, so multiple layers of silicone are applied on top of each other.
 Mr. Tedesco and assistants continue applying Body Double®, building the mold's thickness gradually.

Mr. Tedesco and assistants continue applying Body Double®, building the mold's thickness gradually.
 Some surface areas represent ''undercuts.'' For these areas, batches of Body Double® are mixed with Thi-Vex® II silicone thickener which makes the rubber more buttery in consistency. This helps to build up the undercut areas.

Some surface areas represent ''undercuts.'' For these areas, batches of Body Double® are mixed with Thi-Vex® II silicone thickener which makes the rubber more buttery in consistency. This helps to build up the undercut areas.
 More thickened Body Double® is applied to further build mold thickness.

More thickened Body Double® is applied to further build mold thickness.
 More thickened Body Double® is applied to further build mold thickness.

More thickened Body Double® is applied to further build mold thickness.
 Once the Body Double® silicone has been built to a sufficient thickness, all layers are allow to cure prior to creating a rigid support shell (approximate cure time: 25 minutes).

Once the Body Double® silicone has been built to a sufficient thickness, all layers are allow to cure prior to creating a rigid support shell (approximate cure time: 25 minutes).
 After the Body Double® silicone rubber is applied and fully cured, a plaster bandage support shell is made directly onto the silicone surface while the rubber is still on the model.

After the Body Double® silicone rubber is applied and fully cured, a plaster bandage support shell is made directly onto the silicone surface while the rubber is still on the model.
 The plaster bandages are dipped into water; excess water is squeezed out and the bandages are then layed-up onto the silicone surface.

The plaster bandages are dipped into water; excess water is squeezed out and the bandages are then layed-up onto the silicone surface.
 To minimize strain on the model, the tilt-bed is orientated horizontally for the final touches of the support shell.

To minimize strain on the model, the tilt-bed is orientated horizontally for the final touches of the support shell.
 Multiple layers of plaster bandage are applied in a matter of minutes.

Multiple layers of plaster bandage are applied in a matter of minutes.
 Wooden dowels are incorporated into the support shell to provide a base for the mold to 'stand' on during the casting stage.

Wooden dowels are incorporated into the support shell to provide a base for the mold to 'stand' on during the casting stage.
 Multiple connection points are required for the wooden dowels to be secured to the support shell.

Multiple connection points are required for the wooden dowels to be secured to the support shell.
 After the plaster bandages have fully cured, the support shell is carefully removed from the silicone rubber.

After the plaster bandages have fully cured, the support shell is carefully removed from the silicone rubber.
 The Body Double® silicone rubber mold is then carefully removed from the model.

The Body Double® silicone rubber mold is then carefully removed from the model.
 The Body Double® silicone rubber can be peeled away without fear of tearing or distortion.

The Body Double® silicone rubber can be peeled away without fear of tearing or distortion.
 After demold, the silicone rubber mold is placed back into the support shell

After demold, the silicone rubber mold is placed back into the support shell
 The mold is secured with spring-loaded clips and readied for casting.

The mold is secured with spring-loaded clips and readied for casting.
 A wide variety of casting media may be used in a Body Double® mold. The first casting will be made with as a metal cold-casting, which will yield a bronze-like finish on the surface. Smooth-Cast® 325 urethane resin is used and measured out 1A:1B by volume along with 1 part bronze powder.

A wide variety of casting media may be used in a Body Double® mold. The first casting will be made with as a metal cold-casting, which will yield a bronze-like finish on the surface. Smooth-Cast® 325 urethane resin is used and measured out 1A:1B by volume along with 1 part bronze powder.
 Resin is mixed with a few drops of SO-Strong® Black tint and bronze powder.  All components are mixed thoroughly.

Resin is mixed with a few drops of SO-Strong® Black tint and bronze powder. All components are mixed thoroughly.
 The mixture is then cast into the mold and spread around using disposable chip brushes.

The mixture is then cast into the mold and spread around using disposable chip brushes.
 The entire surface is coated. A second layer is then applied directly onto the first layer to build up the casting's thickness.

The entire surface is coated. A second layer is then applied directly onto the first layer to build up the casting's thickness.
 Fiberglass matte is cut into small sections.  The fiberglass will be used to strengthen the casting.

Fiberglass matte is cut into small sections. The fiberglass will be used to strengthen the casting.
 Fiberglass matte is laid up behind the partially cured layer of Smooth-Cast® 325 resin.

Fiberglass matte is laid up behind the partially cured layer of Smooth-Cast® 325 resin.
 For best strength, fiberglass is applied over the entire inside surface of the casting.  Using fiberglass matte will give the casting high impact resistance and great durability while keeping the piece as lightweight as possible.

For best strength, fiberglass is applied over the entire inside surface of the casting. Using fiberglass matte will give the casting high impact resistance and great durability while keeping the piece as lightweight as possible.
 Another batch of Smooth-Cast® 325 resin is mixed with black tint and brushed behind the fiberglass.  This will give the piece a more finished look.

Another batch of Smooth-Cast® 325 resin is mixed with black tint and brushed behind the fiberglass. This will give the piece a more finished look.
 Once the resin has fully cured (approximately 10 minutes), the casting can be removed from the Body Double® mold.

Once the resin has fully cured (approximately 10 minutes), the casting can be removed from the Body Double® mold.
 Body Double® silicone can be peeled away from the casting.

Body Double® silicone can be peeled away from the casting.
 The Body Double® silicone mold can be peeled away from the casting.

The Body Double® silicone mold can be peeled away from the casting.
 The finished casting is a perfect reflection of the original model.  Detail down to a fingerprint has been captured by the Body Double® silicone rubber.

The finished casting is a perfect reflection of the original model. Detail down to a fingerprint has been captured by the Body Double® silicone rubber.
 Artist Guy Tedesco proudly displays the finished mold and pregnant belly cast.

Artist Guy Tedesco proudly displays the finished mold and pregnant belly cast.

                   
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