DeHaven Digital PhotographyDeHaven Digital Photography

Bust casting of Miss Colorado USA

I recently shot stills and video of the life casting process employed (and largely innovated) by world renowned sculptor and life casting artist David Parvin. David’s subject was Miss Colorado USA, Blair Griffith. Also on hand to help with the preparation and casting process was David’s studio assistant Stevie Brandl.

Applying Conditioner to Miss Colorado USA, Blair GriffithDavid began by preparing mixtures of Alginate while his assistant coated the hair with a special conditioner. The conditioner is used to keep the Alginate from flowing into the hair and to preserve the hair texture.

After the subject is prepared, Alginate is spread over the hair, eyes, face and shoulders with careful consideration keeping the nasal airway open. Next, a special adhesive is applied to help bond the alginate with the next layer of cotton and gauze—this will allow the final structural layer of plaster to hold on to the entire mold, providing the rigidity necessary to support the rubbery Alginate.

Once cured, the subject is de-molded and a negative impression is made in the Alginate. This negative mold must be used almost immediately with Parvin’s choice of material as its water based structure will lose form within a day.

The video was shot by me (Jeff DeHaven of DeHaven Digital Photography) on a Canon EOS 7D with an EF-50mm F/1.8 II Lens (also known as the “nifty fifty”) and balanced by a Steadicam Merlin.


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