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What We Do

Sculptures Made Directly From the Body

Life Size Sculptures

It used to require days of posing for an artist to make something that looked a bit like you in clay. Those days are thankfully in the past. Body Casting is the process of making sculptures from a mould taken directly from the body. The moulding material we use is a skin safe, hypoallergenic powder which we mix with water. It is similar to the material dentists use inside the mouth for teeth impressions but ours is specially formulated for sculptors. It sets into a flexible rubber in just a few minutes, creating an exact replica of the body shapes and surfaces but in reverse. This is the mould into which the sculpture is cast to create a perfect replica of you, down to the finest details. Unlike with body casting silicones, our process is fast and easy on the model. We also use 3d scanning processes where appropriate to take the body data from which we output the sculpture.

NB – Taking a mould can affect the shape of the body and also leave goose bumps on the surface of the cast. As trained artists and anatomists we know how to pose and support you and apply the materials in a specific way to avoid distortion. When appropriate we may opt to 3d scan you instead. We carefully hand finish our casts and scans to smooth the surface and remove imperfections to leave natural looking, soft skin without losing any of the details that make you, you. We can even enhance areas you like and reduce areas you’d rather not show. This is portraiture after all and our job is to make you look fabulous!


Miniatures & Enlargements

We can also produce your sculpture at a different scale, as miniatures or enlargements. To accomplish this we use the latest laser scanning and 3d printing technologies as an extra set of tools where appropriate, alongside good, old-fashioned, sculpting techniques.

The scanner creates a computerised 3d copy of your cast which we then rescale in the computer, as appropriate, to the size you’d like. This data is then output to a 3d printer or CNC milling machine to create the piece at the desired size. 3d printers build up the sculpture in very fine layers of resin. These prints are then hand finished and recast in the final material. CNC mills carve the sculpture from a block of materials such as stone, which is then hand finished to ensure the perfect detail. These cutting edge technologies really are the future of sculpture. See the Miniatures page for more information.

Neil Innes thumbing his nose with a miniature sculpture of him in the Ego Warrior pose

Materials and Finishes

We work in a multitude of different materials, many of which may also have varying surface treatments or finishes. Some materials are more appropriate aesthetically or structurally for different situations.

To assist you in choosing we’ve created a Materials & Finishes page which shows the range of what we can do, explains their benefits, usage and history in art. It is not a definitive list since there are really no limits to what can be cast into a mould. These are just the materials we tend to use regularly. If anything you’re keen on isn’t listed I’m sure we can do it and if not we’ll know somebody who can.

We produce sculptures in a wide range of materials and finishes. Each has it’s own unique look and properties. The most widely used are listed below:

Also known as gypsum has a classic look and is the least expensive but it’s not the strongest of materials. We tend to use it only for the smaller, compact castings.
Polyester resin, reinforced with glass fibre mat is known as fibreglasss or GRP, It’s what boats are made from and is lightweight and strong, providing the best compromise between strength, durability and price. We generally paint it a matt white to resemble plaster. A range of special finishes are also possible (see bottom of page)
Cold Cast Bronze (and other metals)
Also known as bronze resin or resin bronze, they resemble foundry castings but at about a third of the cost. It is a blend of about 25% resin and 75% powdered metal, which is polished to expose and shine the metal. Options include bronze, brass, copper, aluminium and iron. They can also be aged with chemical patinas.
Is an attractive metal which has been used for decorative items since Roman Britain. It is an alloy of tin with small amounts of copper, lead or antimony to harden or make it more durable. It’s low melting point allows us to splash cast it directly into the alginate moulds.
Foundry Cast Bronze
This is the classic sculpture material, cast using the lost wax process in which a wax copy of the original is melted out of a ceramic shell encasing it and the void filled with molten bronze. This produces beautiful, high value artworks. They are heavy with a rich lustre and can be patinated with chemicals in numerous colours or classic black. These high end artworks are suitable for indoor or outdoor display.
Sand Cast Aluminium
Some shapes lend themselves well to metal sand castings, with aluminium being the most popular. It can be polished or left with the sand texture or have contrasting areas of each. Relatively lightweight they are suitable for wall hanging or free standing pieces.
Cast Iron
Also produced via sand casting, in which the original cast is packed into divided sand boxes and removed. Molten metal is then poored into the void remaining. It is suitable for less elaborate casts and intended largely for outdoor display.
Carved Marble
We have teamed up with a marble factory in Carrara in Italy, where all the pure white marble of classic statuary has been mined for thousands of years. We send them the original fibreglass cast and their highly skilled artisans copy it exactly using traditional stone carving methods. There is a choice of pure white or veined white marble. Other stone can also be used by special request. These high end artworks are suitable for indoor or outdoor display.
Lead Crystal Glass
These are created in a similar fashion to bronze castings, using the lost wax process. Molten glass fills the void left by the wax copy. This then cools over many days in the kiln to produce water clear casts, which can be acid polished to produce contrasting frosted and clear areas. Suitable for small to medium sized casts.
Gold & Silver
Precious metal plating is an options on smaller pieces, either onto resin or bronze casts. Like bronzes these are top of the range materials, producing highly sought after and attractive pieces. Solid silver or gold casts can also be produced and will carry the assay marks to prove their purity and origin.
Specialist Paint Finishes
Resin casts in particular lend themselves to special finishes. Any of the special effects that can be applied to custom cars are also possible on sculptures. In addition to the decorative finishes we can also produce highly realistically painted, flesh-like surfaces that resemble human skin down to the finest freckles, veins and textures.

If you have other ideas then by all means ask!