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Belly Beautiful: The Art of Belly Casts

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. So much so that it draws strangers in grocery stores and sidewalks to hover right to your round belly as if rubbing it will grant a wish. I believe it should be worshipped in this manor and cherished, celebrated—perhaps even preserved into art.

Belly casts (or belly masks/belly sculptures) are a unique and expressive way to preserve this special moment in your life and celebrate your body, as well as create a treasured keepsake for your little one as he/she grows older.

Since I chose to memorialize my pregnancy by having a professional photographer take artistic photos of me and my belly, I had to do some research for this particular art form. It looks like belly casting has been around since the mid 1980’s and conceptualized by a former art student, Francine Krause, who eventually created easy at-home kits. No art background is required, though, for creating your own belly mask. It can be as simple as keeping it just the natural plaster color, or painting it and/or embellishing it your heart’s content.

Moon cast
My favorite part about my research for this was the wonderful online art galleries I perused! Since I am a huge moon and star fan, I liked this piece I found on Proudbody.com. They have such an extensive gallery that they divided the masks by “theme.” There are some stunning pieces! I also particularly loved this flowery one: Flower mask

Some masks can be quite ornate, too, like those I found on RockABelly. I can see these hanging in high end galleries! My favorites were a hand-painted one to resemble an elaborate English pottery design, one with glass mosaic tiles, and one with an aged copper finish. Check it out! I also loved Belly Of Love where I found this fairy one. Fairy mask The possibilities are only limited by your own wishes and imagination!

So now that you’re hopefully inspired, there are many at-home kits you can purchase online that streamline the process and make it especially easy and safe. Prices range from $20-$75 for these kits, and the process only takes about an hour.

Budding artist or not, I think it’s a creative, wonderful way to treasure this glowing, unique-to-you time and celebrate your own belly of love!

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