We argue with time every day and continue doing so all our lives. Yet, we strive to capture time and preserve memories by taking photographs, recording videos, writing, painting and what not. Imported from the West, 3-D plaster casting of hands and feet has landed in town from Delhi and Mumbai.
Next time you visit a dentist’s clinic, you may notice other uses of impression material and plaster. Kamakshi Uppal, a Panchkula-based dentist, read about a mother’s experience of getting casts made for her child on a Facebook group.
“When I read about 3-D casting, I wanted to get it done for my son. As I found no one practising this craft in the tricity, I decided to do it on my own by watching YouTube videos. After numerous failed attempts, I succeeded in making a good cast,” she says.
People have various ways of and reasons for preserving memories. “Everyone clicks photographs and they are indeed special as well. But the emotional value of objects such as 3-D casts of my two-year-old son and four-year-old daughter is much more, and their relevance will only grow with time,” says Amit Gauba, a parent and local.
One may choose to remain a child at heart, but childhood never comes back, and certainly not those tiny hands. “I have got plaster casts made for my three-year-old son. Now, I want to do one for the whole family, and form a family tree of hands. Casting is different from photography and videos, especially as we don’t even get photographs developed and framed these days,” says Aarti Mehta from Gurgaon.
“You have to mix appropriate amount of impression material in water. It takes about four to five minutes to set once the hand is placed in it. That is all the customer has to do. Pouring plaster into the cast, drying, shaping and colouring takes three to four days,” says Kamakshi.
The finesse lies in preserving the natural form of hands with all the lines, fingers and cuticles intact on the cast. “If it gets spoilt due to distortion, the customer has to be called again for an impression. The craft lies in careful shaping and finishing after taking a good impression,” she says.
It may be called an interior decoration innovation but people don’t always treat it like that. “I have not placed the casts of my two sons in the drawing room at home. I feel energised on seeing them in my salon when I reach there in the morning. For me, they are a part of personal memories,” says Kamal Chawla from the city.
Fads have a huge travelling capacity and people tend to go gaga over memories and emotions. “People are going berserk over 3-D casts in Mumbai and Delhi. It will certainly catch up in Chandigarh and other cities as well,” says Aarti.
For people, it boils down to being different. If posting a hand-written personal letter can be an exhilarating experience these days, then freezing the lines on your hands in plaster may just prove to be as exciting.