Casting David Blaine

American Illusionist 

Full Body Life Casting Examples

How we created and finished a full body life casting and shipped it to London for an opening event in 9 days.

The  David Blaine Project

Our client commissioned this project for a  promotion for the introduction of the LG Shine cell phone at a London press event. David Blaine, the illusionist was their spokesperson. The client wanted a full body cast, with David holding the LG Shine cell phone, but had a limited budget. To keep within the confines of the client's budget we just made a frontal face mold of the talent's face at his hotel in New York City. Then at our studio in Summit, NJ, we added ears, the back of the head, hair and sculpted open the eyes. This created a full head and shoulders of David Blaine's likeness.

The next step was to make  a secondary mold so that we could cast the head in resin. We also cast  other body parts at the studio using an additional model and integrated those parts into the final statue. For example, one hand was cast holding the cell phone. The other hand was holding a fanned deck of cards -- David's signature.

We used MoldGel for all of the initial mold making. The wonderful characteristic about MoldGel is its ability to cast very delicate materials that are normally affected by dampness. MoldGel binds most of the water within the gelled material. That is why fast set resin can be cast in it without ill effects since water and resin do not normally work well together.

The finished piece required a silver metallic finish. This was achieved by using several coats of high quality metallic silver automobile paint which was then dried and hardened under infra red lights and clear coated. As you can see, the effect is that of  a metallic statue. Yet the piece weighs only 40-lbs.

A crate was built from plywood about 7-ft. tall and 3-ft. square. The statue was wrapped in bubble wrap and foam pillows for protection and the crate was filled will polyurethane foam popcorn to protect it on it trans Atlantic flight. FedEx delivered it just one half hour before the event opening. That was as close as it gets.

MATERIALS: The head and both hands of a second model were cast using ArtMolds' MoldGel Sloset alginate impresion material.  The secondary mold was made using ArtMolds' MoldRite-25, a tin-based silicone. The head and hands were cast using ArtMolds' KastEZ resin, an ivory white colored,fast setting polyurethane resin. For the initial sculpt we also used clay and fast set epoxy resin for fillers.

We are happy to answer your questions on the production of this piece. You can call us toll free at: 1-866-ARTMOLDS (278-6653)

Acknowledgement: We are very grateful for the invaluable help and suggestions of Project Leader Alex Lefley of Hill and Knowlton, in the UK office (the world's largest PR firm), who championed this project from its initial concept to the uncrating and installation at its destination. Cheers, Alex!