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mrbanana101 02-09-2011 10:50 PM

Price to charge for plaster face cast?
There's an art gallery downtown, and they offer customers the ability to have their faces molded and then cast in plaster. They charge $260 for the service. I want everyone's opinion on this price - do you think that's a bit too steep, or does that sound about right for the price of a plaster face cast?

First off, it's not even a full head cast; they only do the front half of the face - no ears. Secondly, the bald cap is extremely visible in the final casts... they take no time in blending the cap to the wearer's head, so in the final cast, it bulges like a wrinkled cloth where the skin meets the edge of the cap. Also, the final casts are full of holes and pits - supposedly air bubbles that weren't taken care of in the plaster. And they're charging $260 for this.

Enough alginate to cover just the face would be no more than $12 I'm assuming, and perhaps $3 worth of plaster bandages, and $15 or so for plaster. So for the bald cap and any additional supplies, I'm guessing it'd be under $50, so they'd be making over $200 profit in about 45 minutes.

I apologize if I sound naive or anything like that, I'm curious what other shops would charge for casting someone's face in plaster. $260 seems like it could be a reasonable price if the final casts were of very professional quality, but these don't appear as such. So, do you all think this is a reasonable price? And what do most shops charge for this?

obseq 02-10-2011 12:26 AM

Re: Price to charge for plaster face cast?
$260 is robbery...but if people are gladly paying, can't blame them for making a huge profit when the norm is to undermine artists' prices.

mantrid 02-10-2011 08:54 AM

Re: Price to charge for plaster face cast?
It depends on the time they spend on it (time is money). If its only 45mins then its a rip off. If they are spending a few hours tidying the plaster cast and finishing it properly with some coating and filling any defects too, then it may be an acceptable amount to most.

realsculpt 03-05-2011 08:26 PM

Re: Price to charge for plaster face cast?
As a life-cast artist for over 20 years that sounds like a good deal. Materials for a front face cast cost about 75ish with shipping ect. A bald-cap is 12, glue and remover is about 15, bandages are about 12 and plaster may be about 10. Even if you have the materials in stock you still need to charge for them. that adds up to about 50$ plus trash bags, buckets brushes ect. Don't forget space may be rented too. Then if their rate is about 30$ an hour you end up with about 260ish.

It sounds like they charge for the materials and space and labor. Plus if people buy it then its worth ebay...

I would charge about 250- 300 depending on the hair i had to deal with under the cap. and between 800 to 1000 for a full head. They also may have an assistant who gets paid a few bucks.

vern terry 04-01-2011 10:54 PM

Re: Price to charge for plaster face cast?
I agree with Seth. I worked in the Fashion Industry doing face casts off professional models. He describes an accurate picture of the procedures involved.

tonofelephant 04-02-2011 07:42 AM

Re: Price to charge for plaster face cast?
Also have to think about liability insurance - you are putting a material on someones face that gets quite warm. Think Seth is going in the right direction on pricing, but still a little low.

Besides, all you need is one client saying you burnt my face with your untrained personnel applying plaster to my face hitting the newspaper. Unfounded or not, your reputation is sunk.


Andrew Werby 04-02-2011 06:24 PM

Re: Price to charge for plaster face cast?
You shouldn't be putting plaster directly onto someone's face. The exothermic reaction caused by its setting can cause a lot of damage (like cooking their nose off). If you use the alginate method described above, there shouldn't be a problem with excess heat. Once you've made an alginate mold, you can take it off the person and fill it with plaster.

Andrew Werby

caroline.h 06-27-2011 01:47 PM

Re: Price to charge for plaster face cast?
I also think the price is reasonable. The only thing is that for that same price, I make perfect finishing. The people who are making the mold and cast must not be well trained! It is a matter of the kind of alginate you use and how you mix the plaster for the cast!

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