Plaster Casting–Creating Personal Memories

Jillian Brasch | February 7th, 2012

cropped-hands11A friend of mine, Bonnie Connor (, had plaster casts made of her parent’s hands. It’s a beautiful pose, with her father’s hand placed over her mother’s. Her parents were married for fifty-two years–when her father had just turned sixteen, and her mother had just turned seventeen. When Bonnie’s mother died, this was an invaluable keepsake for her father. When Bonnie’s father died a few years ago, this became a familiar, comforting keepsake for Bonnie.

I remember studying my own parent’s hands when I was a child. I must have spent hours gazing at the colors the diamonds in my mother’s wedding ring reflected. Those diamonds were magical. And I heard the story over and over about how this ring was a Christmas present years after they’d been married. They’d eloped during the Great Depression and there was no money for rings at the time. I spent many hours watching my mother paint her fingernails the reddest red imaginable with Revlon polish. Her hands seemed so glamorous and exotic to me as I watched her smoke a cigarette or drink a coke out of a bottle. I remember her slightly enlarged joints from the beginnings of arthritis, and the permanent indention on the middle finger of her right hand where the pen rested when she wrote in her perfect teacher’s cursive script.

Thinking of my mother’s hands brings back hundreds of memories of all the activities I watched them do during her lifetime. I cannot wash dishes without thinking of my mother, and instead of this being a dreaded chore, it’s a little place of respite where I spend a moment of comfort with my mother. I can only imagine the memories Bonnie must have every time she looks at the casts of her parent’s hands.

Professional artists, such as, can make casts for you. This is who made Bonnie’s parent’s casts. There are also recipes, instructions, and even a youtube video on the web if you want to do it yourself.

Hands inspire memories. A cast of your parent’s hands can be a personal, comforting, and unique keepsake.

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