Introduction: Casting Ears for Costume $10 (Theater, Film, Cosplay, or Prosthetic)
I would really like to thank Maggie Bennett, sculpture, for a great weekend learning how to do live casting. I've been interested in doing this for years, but casting requires some extensive knowledge not to hurt yourself while doing it as concrete will melt flesh and body parts if exposed to it directly. Maggie is a friend who my wife and I have had the pleasure of knowing for years, she has just recently started sharing her wealth of knowledge in a series of beginning headcasting workshops. I have recorded a few of the basics here, however I would encourage you to attend one of her classes if you get a chance. This instructable features ear casting if you want to make prosthetic ears for things like elves, vulcans, and other mythical creatures. Additional special thanks to: Sergei Kay for photography and Jennifer Peltier for modeling.
PLEASE REMEMBER SAFETY IS CRITICAL WITH CEMENT CASTING AS DIRECT CONTACT WITH SKIN WILL CAUSE YOU CHEMICAL AND THERMAL BURNS.
YOU MUST MAKE A MOTHER MOLD FIRST OF THE BODY PART YOU ARE TRYING TO CAST IN PEOPLE SAFE MATERIAL. THEN USE THAT MOLD TO CAST THE CEMENT. NO SHORTCUTS.
Step 1: Materials You Will Need
You will need the following supplies:
Alja Safe or Alginate (Skin-safe Life Casting Material)
4-5 Plastic Cups
Plastic Gloves to protect your skin (2 pairs)
Step 2: Take One of the Cups and Cut the Bottom Off
You need about the top 3-4 inches to form the mold for the ear.
Step 3: Place the Top Cup Around the Ear You Are Casting
Get the person whose ears you are casting to lay down on their side and place the cup around the ear you are casting. The lip of the cup with form a seal with the person's skin to prevent the alginate from leaking out while you are casting. You can place a paper towel around the cup if you are afraid of spilling some of it on the person's neck, but it's gener
Step 4: Mix and Pour the Alginate Into the Mold
Put on your first pair of gloves and pour the alginate in one cup (1/3 full) and warm tap water in the other cup (1/3) full. This is a 1:1 ratio of alginate to warm water. The tap water should be warm, not hot to the touch so it cures quickly, but doesn't burn the person. It should feel comfortable to the skin.
Dump the alginate in the water and mix. For a small amount like ear casting it's fine to use your hands.
Once mixed pour the jello mixture into the cup and wait roughly 5 minutes to set. Once it sets it will feel like jello to the touch.
Step 5: Remove the Alignate Mother Mold
Once it's done setting up, you can remove the cup. You are left with the alginate around the ear. Carefully break the seal around the ear using your fingers to work around and then lift the mold up and out.
Step 6: Cast the Ear in Ultra Cal
Alright, now that you have the mold of your ear, place it back in the cup you originally used. Put on a new pair of gloves. Take two other cups like you did for the alginate and put warm water in one and ultra cal in the other. Pour the Ultra Cal into the warm water until it "floats" on the top like in the picture. With your clean new gloves, mix the two and pour on top of the ear mold. Wait 15-20 min to set.
Step 7: Unmold Your Finished Piece and Clean
Pop out your finished piece and clean off any extra bits with a knife. Voila, all done. Now you have a custom ear to use for replica parts.