My Hands

Today I was taking a photograph of a pin I wanted to share. In the photo my thumb is visible. Well, it bothered me a bit. See I have really utilitarian looking hands, not pretty feminine ones. It also reminded me of this funny thing that happened when I was working making the clothing for animatronics. Hands are usually made by carefully casting human hands in dental alginate. First the hands are coated in Vaseline, posed, the alginate is applied, and a plaster cast is made to support the alginate. Then everything is carefully cut and removed. Finally a mold is made to cast silicone hands that will go over the mechanical workings. I was working on a little baker robot. Making his clothes, shoes, hat, and styling his hair and mustache. The sculptor had cast some male hands but they were too big. The designer started looking for hands to cast and thought mine looked masculine. How embarrassing. So I consented for my hands to be cast. The only problem was there was no time to make a cast the usual way and it was decided for me to put Vaseline on my hands, pose them and plunge them, holding the pose, into 2 gallon buckets of alginate. The alginate set up, and I couldn’t get my hands out of the buckets. It hurt so bad, words can not explain, trying to pull my hands free of all that rubber. I had a gallon bucket on each hand. The guys probably did it that way because if they had done one at a time, I would never have put my other hand in a bucket. They finally got an air compressor and slowly pumped air in a little at a time and I eased my hands painfully out of the buckets. Of course they were more interested in getting a good mold than my poor hands. I never trusted those guys fully again. Now when I have to share a photo and my hands show you will know they have been through many rough years of crafting. Here is a photo of the little baker’s head. He is the first robot that I made where I had to do the hair too. I don’t have a good photo of his whole body. In the days before digital cameras getting a good shot was hit or miss.

Baker

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