A Celebration of Birth through Body Casting Sculpture
Sunday, July 8th
at Lifecycle WomanCare in Bryn Mawr
4 – 8 pm
$150 (includes cost of materials)
Join a small gathering of women as they come together to honor their pregnancy and make a body casting. The casting process is a sacred ritual that creates a three dimensional replica of your physical form to celebrate your pregnancy. We ask that you bring a helper (mother, aunt, sister, female friend) to assist you.
The instructor of this workshop, Arla, will create a safe space for each woman. She will start with creating community among the participants. A baby blessing and guided imagery will help each woman visualize her breastplate/body cast shape and possible final appearance. The tables will be formed in a circle with workstations facing outward for each woman to get started on her own body. Arla will give a demonstration on the techniques involved in making the casting. Each woman will have the option to include her breasts or not. If she decides to, she will make a plaster impregnated gauze “bra” on her own breasts first. It is after that stage that her helper will step in to help apply the remaining gauze. After the castings are made, Arla will give a demonstration on the finishing process along with possible decoration ideas. Participants will go home with their casting, extra gauze strips, joint compound, and a list of detailed instructions and decoration material ideas.
Participants should wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing, including a separate top and bottom that are okay to get dirty (although plaster drips do wash out of clothing).
Participants should also bring snacks and drinks that may be desired during the hours of the workshop.
No experience is necessary. You are a work of art, so your casting will also be a work of art.
“Having delivered twice at The Birth Center at LWC, I couldn’t be happier with my experiences. I felt so cared for and safe there. Welcoming, comforting, trustworthy—the combination of the homey feel I wanted with professional, experienced midwives and nurses let me relax, knowing I was in good hands. The midwives, always there when we needed them, also seemed to know just when to give us space. When pushing became difficult during my second birth, the midwife quickly assessed the situation and helped me get things back on track. I can’t imagine birthing anywhere else.”
Arla Patch has been called a “creativity midwife.” She has been teaching art and facilitating personal transformation and healing through art making for 45 years. Her work with body casting and mask making has included “Mask Making for Couples” at the Omega Institute, breastplates with women who experienced mastectomies, mask making with survivors of abuse, at-risk teens at a therapeutic boarding school as well as with indigenous tribal communities in Maine. She now lives in Quakertown, PA and takes care of her 8-month-old grandson one day a week.