What is lifecasting?
Lifecasting is the process of creating a three dimensional copy of the human form, through the use of highly skilled molding and casting techniques. The outstanding features of lifecasting are their high level of realism and detail. A cast can be made from any part of your body, from head to toe or in between, with or without clothing. Lifecasts capture detail as small as fingerprints, folds, dimples, and the lines that define life and one’s unique history. Creating your one-of-kind sculpture is not about having a perfect body—it’s about celebrating the body you have! This is a participation art form that is affordable and FUN!
Where is the casting done?
We come to you. The casting is done in the comfort of your home, at a time that suits you. The easiest place to cast is in the kitchen. Everything there is easily cleaned up and water and electric are available.
Is it messy and what should I wear?
Old, washable clothing is recommended—just in case. The process can be messy if a baby twists or kicks. We provide towels, plastic, and a drop cloth to catch any spills. We have refined the process so that very little clean up is needed. Also, if you are getting a body part cast that is usually clothed, try not to wear tight fitting clothing before our visit so we will not have to wait for the marks or indentations to disappear. This could take up to an hour or more! Things to think about—ring and wrist watch indentations, sock lines, bra lines, underwear lines, waistband lines, and tight belt lines … Skin: Do not put makeup on if you are getting a face cast done. The makeup will transfer into the cast and then onto the finished piece.
Can friends watch?
Yes! The process is painless and is a fun event—by all means have a friend share the occasion.
How long will the casting take?
Including arrival, discussing what you want, set up, and mixing the molding material, a casting can run 35 minutes to an hour, depending on how many subjects there are for hands and feet. Actually taking the mold of a baby’s hands can last from 30 to 90 seconds. Adult hands take a bit longer. Faces, torsos, and other body parts take an hour or more.
Is the molding material safe and not harmful to my baby/child or me?
Absolutely. Yes. The material used is the safest top quality alginate, a compound made from seaweed. It is non-toxic, non-allergenic, and biodegradable. In fact, it is considered a food product. It is the same material used by dentists worldwide for making impressions of teeth. We can always offer a test patch for your peace of mind if you have extremely sensitive skin.
What does the process involve?
For hands and feet, a pose is selected and we do a rehearsal positioning. The alginate is mixed to a luke-warm creamy goo—like yogurt. Hands or feet are slowly dipped into the container. Once the alginate is set your hand or foot is slowly eased out of the flexible rubbery mold. The alginate is not sticky; it is wet and a bit slimy when set. It is like very firm Jell-O. The process is quick and painless.
For faces, torsos, busts, bellies, bottoms, and other parts, the alginate is applied onto the body, smoothed into every contour, and then backed up with a plaster bandage to support the alginate. Often we work in pairs during these types of casting—as there is a lot of spreading and smoothing to be done in a very limited time frame.
The next stage is pouring the casting material, demolding, hours of clean up and detailing, application of the finish, and then final presentation treatment.
Can multiple hands and people be cast together?
Yes, hands can be lovely ways to represent multiple generations, or a group of young or older siblings or friends, families, etc. See our gallery for ideas.
Should I cut my fingernails or have a manicure?
The alginate material captures every detail of flesh, cuticle, and nail exactly. You will need to decide how you want these details captured. Casting of long fingernails is our specialty.
Can rings be worn during the molding process?
Yes, rings can be harmlessly worn and will easily clean up after the mold is made. The casting process will pick up the most beautiful details of your rings, making your sculpture even more personal. If very high, angular rings are to be included an alternate casting method may be necessary. Please advise when making your appointment if large jewelry is to be included in the casting. Please also remember that if you want a casting without a ring that you normally wear, you should remove it ahead of time so there will be no indentation on your finger.
Can we order several castings from the same mold?
Yes and no.
Unfortunately no—using alginate. Because the molding medium has to be broken away in chunks in order to release the poured casting, your casting is a one-of-a-kind irreplaceable piece of art. Please let us know at the time of scheduling if you want additional copies of your lifecast. It will make a difference in the price and techniques we use. If you require 2 to 4 baby feet for example, it’s actually more economical to make 4 individual unique casts than to make copies of one.
What materials can I choose from for my cast?
Pieces can be made in a variety of materials that include casting stone, cold cast bronze, brass, bronze, copper, silver, marble, resins, and foundry cast bronze, to name a few. Our most popular material is casting stone, a plaster/gypsum mix. These pieces can be washed a natural white and sealed, coated in faux metal finishes, antiqued, painted, or decorated with designs, if that is what you want. There are many options. Please ask.
Can you supply a base or stand or frame for my cast?
Yes. Our most popular bases are understated elegant black. These wood bases can be finished in any color. Other bases include various textural finishes, decorative shapes, stone, slate, marble, tile, etc.
Glass domes with bases are also available.
Framing of baby hands and feet in shadow boxes can include a photo of your baby.
There are many options for mounting and displaying these precious parts.
Engraved metal nameplates can add a personalized finishing touch.
Resting hands, faces, and torsos can be wall mounted or freestanding. We can design frames, bases, and wall mounting to suit your request. Please contact us—we love coming up with new ideas!
When will my casting be ready?
Your casting made from casting stone will be ready in 5 to 10 weeks, depending on the time of the year, the type sculpture and finish you have selected, and the type of base or frame to be used. Proper drying time is very important. Your sculpture must be completely dry before finishes and sealant can be applied. Other casting materials can take 10 to 16 weeks, depending on the kind of casting. When necessary we may be able to rush the completion. Please schedule as early as possible for special occasions such as Weddings, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Holidays. Up front we will discuss the delivery date and contact you when your casting is completed.
How do I care for my sculpture?
As a unique work of art. It will break if dropped. Do not use any cleaning liquids or water. Dust carefully with a cloth. Keep your sculpture away from extreme heat or cold and away from damp areas.
I dropped my cast and it is broken. Can it be repaired?
Most likely, yes—depending on severity. We would have to examine the piece and then discuss repair options and cost. We will always try to help.
Do you do parties?
Yes. It can be a lot of fun for a group to have a baby hand/foot casting party. We bring all the materials for the group. This can be an unforgettable bonding experience for you, your friends, and your family. You can even involve your older children in the process. The best time to have baby hand casting party is when the babies are still quite young, small, and sleep a lot. This makes the process with many babies much easier; the baby who is relaxed can be cast and the restless ones can wait until they calm down. A minimum of 5 baby hand/foot castings are required for a group session at your location.
Lifecasting parties can be organized for mother and toddler groups.
A discount is offered to the host.
A group deposit is required at the booking and the balance payable on the party date.
Any type of casting party can be arranged.
Contact us to book your party.
Can you really cast my pet’s paw?
Yes, for most dogs. You will need to consider your pet’s temperament and decide if he/she will cooperate. Please be honest; we do not want to be bitten. You may want to practice by holding your pet’s paw in a cup of warm water several times before we come to do the casting to get him/her used to the procedure. If you know your pet has allergies, we will give you a list of material that he/she will come in contact with to ask your vet about. If your dog is very sensitive about having his/her paws touched and becomes very agitated for even a short time this may not be the best thing to do, even though it is painless. Sweet-talk, hugging, and distracting with treats often works.
What type of specialty castings can be done?
Pre- and post-surgery, document a weight loss, terminal illness, awards, celebrity, bodybuilding, if you can imagine it, we probably can cast it.
Can a memorial cast be done?
With respect and care we can give the family and friends of the recently deceased a precious keepsake to celebrate the memory of a life instead of the loss. As this is a distressing time please be aware we will need some information. Your relationship to the deceased, whether you have discussed casting with the hospital, hospice or funeral director and that they have given their agreement to work with the process, the window of time we have for making the mold, and the cause of death (if your loved one died of a contagious disease or is suspected of having done so then, sadly, we cannot cast them), and which body part you would ideally like cast. A cast of clasping hands with your loved one or an individual hand sculpture and or a beloved face is a memory to treasure forever. Baby and child castings can bring comfort you touch and hold for years to come of little ones who gained their angel wings too early. It is always an honor to cast a loved one.
Make an Appointment
We are very flexible on appointment times and will try to meet your schedule. We offer appointments days and evenings to come to your home. We can also come to the hospital, hospice, or funeral home. Call or e-mail us to discuss the process and we can answer any questions that you might have.
We cover a 25-mile radius from Baltimore; if you are beyond this radius an additional charge for fuel will be added. We serve the Mid-Atlantic area. If you live a distance from the Baltimore Metro area we will have to charge additional for time, fuel, and any other expenses.
We ask that a 50% payment is made to lock in your appointment time, then the remaining 50% is requested at the time of the casting session. We accept cash and checks, or you can pay online.
Gift certificates are available and make the perfect gift for any occasion or event.
Please contact us and we will issue one directly from Pulse—Lifecasting.
Can my finished castings be safely shipped?
Is Pulse—Lifecasting a franchise?
No. Pulse—Lifecasting not a franchise and is not affiliated with any other individual or lifecasting company.
Do you sell do-it-yourself hand casting kits?
No, we specialize in professionally cast and finished heirloom-quality works of art. What you often get from these kits are low quality materials that produce lightweight and chalky castings that are rough looking, full of holes, and may have missing fingertips.
Lifecasting is an art form, and each piece is unique; it is not a manufacturing process. Each piece is made and finished by hand. A great deal of care is taken to ensure that our lifecasts are fine crafted works of art.
We have a 100% satisfaction guarantee policy!
Our guarantee is simple: We guarantee that you will be pleased with your casting or we will re-do it at no extra charge to you. We are proud of our work and we want you delighted with your casting.