Body Casting  |  two examples; Voyagers & American Beauty

Plaster bandage body casting of Michael Freed with the assistance of Christie Hackler, Suzanne Peck, Sue Moss Sullivan, And Bri Toledo.

Sculptor David Phelps often uses plaster bandage body casts as visual references in his figurative sculpting process. This process yields an anatomically accurate negative mold from which a positive life size image will be pulled.

This is the beginning stage of developing a new figurative sculpture. Phelps had assistance with this body cast of Michael Freed from artists Christie Hackler, Suzanne Peck, Sue Moss Sullivan, and Bri Toledo.

The first step is to create a platform for the pose; this was done the day before the modeling session. Next step is drawing on seam lines with a felt pen. Melted vaseline is applied next on skin and bentonite clay in the hair. The seam lines are built into the cast so no cutting is required. The bandages are applied, let cure for 10 minutes and then removed when strong enough. The process took about three and a half hours.

It will take considerably longer to cast the positive into the body cast; then roughly a year to sculpt the artwork using the body cast as a visual reference.

Click on image below for the body casting session of American Beauty