Well the short answer to that question is…us! We notice! In fact we do a lot more than just notice. It’s more like a complete obsession, because we know from vast experience than if a plaster cast isn’t pared down and reduced in exactly the right way, it’s the difference between something beautiful and just another plaster cast. And we’re not in the business of making just another plaster cast!
No, there’s far too much love, care and expectation riding on every set of casts, for us to allow anything other than something perfect to emerge. And so we apply our three criteria to every cast, just prior to making the crop.
- Will the crop be invisible, when the cast is within the frame?
- Will the crop enhance the overall shape of the cast?
- On a 3D sculpture cast, will the crop add to the ‘story’ of the cast?
The first one is really interesting, mainly because as far as we know, we’re still the only baby casting company which makes invisible crops on framed casts. It may be surprising, but there’s no need at all to chop a cast at the wrist or ankle. Not only does it look a little alarming, it also creates a much deeper cast, which usually means a box has to be added to the back of the frame.
Our ‘invisible’ method creates a wedge-shaped crop on the part of the cast which is attached to the mount card. The result – a gorgeous little cast with no dramatic cut-off, leaving all the attention to focus on the beauty and detail of the hands and feet.
A crop must also enhance the shape of the cast itself. This means great care is taken in deciding what’s removed and what’s left. The extent to which this affects the shape and feel of a cast is amazing. A little too much left on, and a cast looks much too big and cumbersome. But if too much material is removed, the cast becomes distorted and no longer has the feel of the little person it was cast from.
So there’s plenty riding on getting this decision absolutely right. Not a problem if we need to remove more of the wrist of ankle. But should too much be cropped off…well that hasn’t happened yet!
Then there’s the creative challenge of the 3D sculpture cast. This is a different question from cropping framed casts, because when cropping a 3D cast, there’s no way to make the crop invisible – it’s there for all to see.
If a sculpture cast is standing upright, we simply make a straight cut. All very straightforward. But if the crop is visible, it must be styled in such a way as to echo the overall shape of the cast, without creating a distraction, or being a feature in itself.
So there you have it – the secret art of cropping a cast. Little known, but practiced with passion by the few who know the craft. Take a look at our website and see if you can spot how it’s done!