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Tape and plaster, Part II

In Part I of this tale, we wrapped joreth in layers of paper tape with water-soluble glue, for the purpose of creating a cast of her body from which she could make a dressmaker's dummy.

That same day, we also created a plaster cast of her body, using plaster bandage strips.

The plaster was applied directly over skin, and was considerably messier than the paper tape. The process was a lot of fun, but absolutely in no way, shape, or form safe for work.


The basic idea with the plaster is the same as using paper tape. Start with a long strip of plaster tape beneath the breasts, another over top of the breasts, then an "X" of long strips crossing between them. From there, it's a question of applying short strips over the curve, starting by pressing each strip's center against the skin and then smoothing it out toward the ends.

There is an issue with using plaster tape, which we quickly discovered--even if you use hot water to dip the strips of plaster tape in, the subject will likely get cold very quickly, because the cheesecloth that the plaster tape is made from is a very efficient wick for evaporative cooling. The plaster gets cold as it sets!

A hairdryer makes the plaster set more quickly and also makes the person you're casting a lot less miserable.


Once the first layer is done, it's time for a second layer; after that's done, it's time to wait. Even with the aid of a hairdryer, it takes the plaster time to set.

Once it's finally set, bandage scissors are used to cut a slit down each side. This is a lot trickier than it looks. The plaster is extremely form-fitting (as you might imagine), and it sticks to skin tenaciously, so getting the scissors under the plaster is no mean feat.


Once that's done, yet another challenge presents itself. Remember how I said plaster sticks tenaciously to skin? That makes removing the two halves of the cast a nontrivial exercise; joreth described it as being something like having a full-body Band-Aid being removed. From both sides of your body.



It took quite a while (and more than a few squeaks and "Ow!"s) to pry loose the two halves of the cast. Unfortunately, I somehow neglected to get a picture of the finished result, but the two halves of the shell are re-attached to each other using more plaster tape, much as with the paper tape version.

The competition for the geek points to the first person to identify the alphabet used in the paper tape version is still going has been won!


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 22nd, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
It's best to shave the whole body and apply a thin layer of vaseline PRIOR to plastering. Cuts down on the ow factor significantly!
May. 22nd, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
May. 22nd, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
Oh yes indeedy! And even when we did that, it still stuck in a few places, particularly undercuts where I didn't cover pubic hair well enough!

I've only done a half-shell, so as it dries, it just kind of peels itself off! A weird feeling - kind of like a lizard molting, I guess.
May. 27th, 2009 12:05 pm (UTC)
See previous comment saying "whole body".

And this is why, being a rather hairy woman, I will not be making myself a dressmaker's dummy with plaster tape anytime soon.
May. 22nd, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
I guess there must be many types of plaster. When I broke my leg 8 years ago the plaster used set hot (exothermic reaction). I believe I've read somewhere that if using this for bondage then you need to be careful to not burn your "victim" :-)
May. 22nd, 2009 10:44 pm (UTC)
Plaster does set exothermically, but with the pre-made plaster tape, as it turns out the exothermic reaction of the plaster setting is more than offset by the evaporative cooling. The plaster tape is strips of coarse cheesecloth impregnated with powdered plaster, and the cheesecloth acts like a wick when the water evaporates.

I imagine it'd be even more miserable if the plaster setting weren't exothermic.
May. 23rd, 2009 02:55 am (UTC)
Really? Huh. None of the women I've done this to has complained about being chilled....although whether it was because the plaster bandages weren't chilly or because the women were too polite to say anything, I don't know.

I'm also not entirely convinced about the cheesecloth-wick theory; once you've dunked it into water, the cheesecloth prettu much gets soaked up into the plaster. There's not a whole lot of bare cheesecloth to soak up and evaporate, in other words. (Not that I've done scientific studies or anything, just a lot of, errr, getting people plastered.)
May. 23rd, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this. I so want some plaster tape now.
May. 23rd, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
What about a gauze wrap first? Some plaster would still seep through I'm sure but might help to ease the removal.
May. 23rd, 2009 06:26 am (UTC)
My god, she's beautiful when she smiles.
May. 23rd, 2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
Another way to open up the 'shell' rather than cutting with a scissor is to lay a line of thin wire vertically up the model's back, covering in with the plaster.

When the plaster's dry, just grasp the wire from both ends and pull - it'll zip right through the plaster shell.

Lovely model, by the way!
May. 24th, 2009 03:37 am (UTC)
a hint for next time you try a plaster cast (although the hairdryer is something i'd not used before so that's a good idea)

before starting with the plaster, apply a heavy layer of vaseline or johnson's baby oil gel to all the areas being covered - that will make the release much easier
May. 26th, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
Well the only method you're really lacking at this point is to buy a LOT of alginate and a BIG tank and then dunk her in it.

Can't wait to see THOSE pics!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )