Monday, March 5, 2012

A home business idea. Become a baby casters

Millions of babies are born every year... This is a business waiting to be captured, captured in bronze that is. 

This is a $5,000 per week home business for stay at home mums or anyone with a few hours of spare time every week.  Too good to be true? believe me, this is not a scam.

It is fairly easy to do something like this:

With a bit of dental alginate and some plaster of Paris you make these charming mementos in a less than 1/2 hour, quick and easy.

Parents and grand-parents are keen to preserve the tiny hands and feet of their new born. This is so incredibly cute and will not stay that way very long...

You can sell these plaster castings for $150. Depending where you live and how well you advertise you could easily make 10 per week, without spending much time at all. A nice little side income for stay at home mums with an artistic inclination.

$1,500 per week is good, $5,000 is better. You may not find 30 babies to cast every week, and then it becomes too much hard workk. But If you made these 10 in bronze instead of plaster, you could charge $500 each instead of $150... a much better return for not much more work....

The same hand cast in bronze is sold $500 instead of $150.

Bronze is a truly noble and durable material. Plaster can be easiliy damaged and will not last where bronze is an heirloom quality piece of work.

Do you think this is too hard, too much hard work, too dangerous and costly, requiring too much investment in heavy machinery? Think again. Casting such small objects in bronze can be cheap, easy, quick and anyone can do this in their backyard. More on this later.

Your business could be up and running in week or two.
Here are the steps.

1- Teach yourself body casting by practicing with your friends, neighbours or family. All you need to do is to make two or three hands or feet in plaster until you are confident enough to advertise the service.  This is fairly easy to do and does not require any particular skills. Basically, if you can bake a pie you are clever enough to make a baby's hand in plaster.
You will find plenty of information on the Internet on how to cast a baby's hand or foot. I suggest you download my "Body Casting Manual"  It will show you the basics principle and advanced techniques in easy to follow step by step instructions.

More importantly, the Body Casting Manual tells you excately what products to buy, how much you will require and where to buy it from around the world. You only need $100 or less to get started...

Take many pictures of all the hands and feet you make.

2- Advertise. Once you have made 2 or 3 castings you are ready to advertise your business.
This is how I would go about it:
a) Create a web site such as this one. This is very easy even if you are not a computer expert. basically, If you can compose and send an email, you probably know enough to create a blog.
You open a Google account and get a Gmail email address. This is free. Then you open a Google Blogger account and start creating your web site. This is also free. You'll quickly get the hang of it.
You want to tell your web site visitors about your business: services, work samples, customer testimonials, your adress, contact details, your price list etc.... be personal, talk about you and add as many photos as possible. Add an FAQ answering questions you think prospective customers may have. This should take you a couple of evenings and cost you nothing.
b) Advertise in the printed media such as your local rag. This is not free. Once you have decided on a business name and logo, design a small ad and run it twice a month. The editors of your local paper can help you with this. This is likely to cost you about $30 every fortnight. Make sure your web site adress is included in the ad.
c) You can also get a business card printed.
d) Contact all the midwives you can find to inform them of the service, send them packs of your business card.

3- Grow the business. Fairly quickly you will have a stream of young parents walking to your door. Once you have done this for a few weeks or months, you are ready to take the business further and start making some real money.
There are two ways to expand:
a) start offering pregnancy castings as well as baby's hands and feet. However this is a much larger enterprise requiring more tools, mor material, more space, perhaps the help of an assistant. Not imposiible of course but do you really want to work hard?
b) start casting in bronze and charge far more for your product. This is the best way to grow your business. You could obviously send your plaster casting to the local art foundry to be cast in bronze. This is nor work at all for you but the Foundry will cahrge you a lot of money and you cannot really charge it back to your customer, you would become prohibitively expensive. In effcet the foundry is making money, not you.  The only way to make it a success if to cast the bronze yourself....

4- Casting a small object in bronze such as a baby's hand or foot is not very difficult, in fact it is fairly easy. 
1-You make an alginate mold of the baby's hand as normally done. 5 minutes
2-You then pour molten wax inside the mold instead of plaster. ( 5 minutes. )
3-You then attach a wax tube and a wax cup at the base of the wax hand or foot ( 5 minutes)
4-The wax tube and wax cup have been previously made. You can mak 10 of each in one hour.
5-You then construct a ceramic mold arounf the wax hand, tube and foot. This is done by painting a liquid mixture in several layers. It takes about 5 minutes per layer.
6- Once the ceramic layers are dry, you melt the wax out of the mold with a gas torch attached to a barbecue gas bottle. You can easily melt 10 molds in 1/2 hour.
7- You can then melt some bronze in a home made furnace, still using the same torch and gas bottle. Then pour the molten metal inside the mold.
8- Once cold (3 hours later) break the mold to reveal the baby's hand in bronze (5 minutes)
9- Cut off the tube with a hack saw ( 5 minutes)
10- Clean the finished bronze et voila !

This is the basic process. There is a bit more to it obviously, but once you have done it 3 or 4 times it will seems as easy as 1, 2, 3...
You will need about one Kg  (2 lb) of metal for one bronze hand. If you were to make 10 a week, you could melt 10 kg and cast them all in one morning. 10 Kg (22 lb) is not very heavy and even if you are not a strong person, I bet you can easily lift and carry 10 kg.

5- How to learn? You will obvioulsy want to practice and learn all this before advertising your bronze casting services. There are several ways to go about it.
1- try it yourself. Find info on the internet, buy stuff, and go for it... I strongly recommend that you do not do that. This is sure to lead you to great frustrations, wasted materials and loss of time and money.
2- Attend one the workshop that many foundries are organising around the world. This isa good way to learn bronze casting techniques. BUT Most of these workshops are run by foundry who are equipped with heavy tools and will not show you a process that you can easily reproduce at home. These workshops are also fairly expensive. See a list of workshops in the Link section of this site.
3- Download my book, the "Bronze Casting Manual" and follow the steps by steps instructions.
This is a no nonsense instructions manual that will have you make a small object in bronze in a few days and to high degree of quality. No previous experience is necessary and the tools and equipment needed are easy to find. Basically, anyone with a bit of space such as a backyard and a carport can do this at home.
By implementing the techniques described in the book, you will quickly gain confidence and cast baby hands, quickly, safely, cheaply.

1 comment:

  1. What a great idea. I was searching for casting rates when I stumbled on your site. My wife was looking for something artistic to do and this might just be the thing. Thank you for sharing.