PEN in hand. Hand in a bucket of quick-setting pink ‘plaster’ with its origins in seaweed.
That’s the situation I found myself in when The Edinburgh Casting Studio invited me along to a demonstration of their art.
The ‘plaster,’ it turns out, is actually a pink alginate, the same stuff dentists use to make impressions of your teeth. When it turns white, you’re done - time to start wriggling your fingers to extricate your hand, leaving the pen behind.
Penny and Luis, owners of the Studio, call this a Vocational Cast, the idea being that the subject holds something relevant to their occupation - a singer might clasp a microphone, for example.
The whole process is painless and surprisingly fast. Just a few minutes.
The pair have been operating out of their studio at the Hill Street Design House for a few months now, surrounded by an eclectic collection of life-casts. There’s a fishnet-clad leg, from hip to toe (Luis modelled apparently), some baby feet (always popular), a couple of torsos and a selection of fingers and thumbs, which have been fashioned into everything from bottle openers to coat hooks.
Other body parts can also be cast on request, they reveal, although so far they have been asked for nothing “too outrageous.”
Each item is a fascinating 3D snapshot of a piece of history, each unique. Looking for an unusual Christmas present? Then a cast could well be the perfect way to invest in what to all intents and purposes is a very personal piece of art - even if you do just use it as a paperweight.
And it’s as if they read my mind. You can do just that on Saturday when Poppy and Luis hold an Open Studio and Pop-Up Shop. Go along to 3 Hill Street and you’ll be able to view castings, ask questions, and maybe even get a casting of your own.