Alginate – Alginart™ Impression Moulding Material
Craftmill Chromatic Impression Moulding Alginate is a single use moulding material for professionals or modellers to make mouldings large or small of any body part like rows of teeth, hands, feet and even breasts and other body parts. Alginate can also do the same job, using the same technique for replication of other small items that can be fully enclosed by the alginate mixture and even replacing plaster coving etc. Our main focus on this site is the use of alginate in lifecasting – that is replicating body parts by creating castings. Chromatic alginate is capable of producing fine detail down to creases in hands and finger nails and other minute parts.
Alginart Chromatic dental alginate has a pleasant dentists waiting room smell. It tastes like a mild brand of toothpaste. It is by definition non-allergic as it has to be used safely in patients mouths of all ages. It is easy to use because it changes colour at each stage of the process giving you visible notice of how much time is left to do each stage. It can be used on any part of the body. Chromatic alginate is made from seaweed. The brand of alginate – Alginart that we recommend and sell has a relatively slow setting time which is really important to get the mixing stage just right. The chart below gives you an idea.
Dental alginate is super safe for using on the youngest child or most delicate body part as it is designed for use in the mouth to take dental mouldings. The great thing about using it as well is it changes colour as you work it, telling you what stage you should be at from mixing, to applying, to setting.
General Directions for Mixing and Use
This is a 2 phase chromatic alginate. The times that follow are based on water at 23˚C. Warmer water speeds up setting. cooler water slows setting Most important is to add powder to the full water measure – not powder to water.
Phase one is the mixing phase. When you add the powder to water and start mixing the mixture turns bright pink. It stays bight pink for about 90 seconds to enable you to mix to a smoothe paste. The mix then slowly fades to a pale pink. At about 2 minutes (120 seconds), the mix should be in the final moulding container and the limb or object should be inserted and kept still. The mix then slowly turns white from pale pink and at 3 minutes (180 seconds) it is set.
If you buy casting and moulding kits or only the alginate, we supply the appropriate help sheet.
Baby Hand Casting and Foot Casting and Adult Hand, Foot and other Small Body Parts
For baby hand and foot casting (like this one by Jo Inglis-Lyons), you have to get some small poly bags to pour in the alginate for baby’s hand to be put in but we prefer an empty drinks container of a suitable size easily to fit the limb into. It uses a bit more alginate but when pouring in the plaster, a drinks container stands firmly upright – bags don’t stand up naturally. Gloves are not necessary as the set alginate peels off very easily. Modelling a foot will use more alginate as it is an awkward shape. When modelling a foot, you don’t need to model the whole foot but be sure to keep the limb at least 1cm away from the edge of the container otherwise the alginate deforms as you pull the foot out of the container. A baby foot will fit nicely into an empty butter container.
Those who know best say that 450g of Alginate will make up to 5 new baby hands or feet. It will make one medium size adult hand and for an adult foot you need at least two 450g bags. Remember the Moulding Alginate is for making the mould only. After making the mould, you then need to make a casting from your mould. To do this you need fine casting plaster. An adult foot will require at least 3kg of fine casting plaster. Making a penis moulding will use a similar container to that for a hand and depending on size, 1kg of casting plaster will be adequate for a penis casting.
On another advert, we supply a 1kg pack of Fine Casting Plaster which is ideal for the job. 1kg of plaster is more than enough to go with the 500g pack of Alginate.
You may also wish to paint your finished casting After making the casting let it dry thoroughly then paint gold, copper or silver (also supplied by me). Finally you can varnish your finished product if necessary. We also stock Acrylic Varnish in Matt varnish, Satin varnish and Gloss varnish. For these products, please see our Acrylic Painting Materials.
Face Moulding, Face Casting and Breast Casting
Face Moulding and Casting is the next level of difficulty. To do this you have to think about maintaining your model’s breathing either through the mouth or nostrils. Some people suggest straws but used in the nose with tender membranes, care should be taken. Face and breast moulding has an additional stage. Having applied the Alginate to the body, after the alginate has set, at least 4 layers of Modroc Plaster of Paris Bandage must be applied to the moulding to secure its shape after removal. Without Modroc plaster bandage the moulding would collapse when removed. the Face Mould or Breast Mould then has to be put in a supportive cradle for the Casting Plaster to be poured in. You require 3kg of plaster for a Face Cast and a similar amount for a Breast Cast but this depends very much on cup size.
Craft Mill sells larger quantities of Casting Plaster and and bulk packs of Alginate at special prices as well. If you are in business making mouldings, you can buy 24 pack cases at greatly discounted prices. We also sell other casting and moulding kits. Please click on Casting and Moulding Materials to view them.
Casting a full Pregnant Belly torso neck to crotch
Pregnant belly moulding and pregnant belly casting using alginate is the hardest of the castings to attempt. It requires 4 people including the model. It requires 5 bags of alginate and 25kg of casting plaster. I do not recommend it for anyone but an experienced sculptor. Take a look at our pregnant belly casting kit if you want a simple casting kit to carry out at home.
If you are bulk buyer of Alginate, please request a quote as we can offer the keenest prices and best quality product available in the UK. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Or you can buy online now by clicking the link below.