Casting memories

Colin MacLean
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NORTH GRANVILLE – The baby keepsake – a rite of passage many parents find themselves faced with.

There are lots of options of every kind, make and shape to choose from, everything from the traditional to the contemporary.

A couple of years ago Sara Courtney of North Granville was perusing a baby tradeshow in Saint John, New Brunswick, when she came across one such memento option that really jumped out at her.

They were small casts of baby feet, hands and even bums. Each one an exact duplicate of a real child’s limb.

A crafty person by nature with a background in fashion design, Courtney was fascinated by the process of creating the casts and their versatility as keepsakes.

“I’d never seen it before and I thought ‘aw, I wish we’d had that when we had our little baby,” said the mother of two.

She struck up a conversation with the woman doing the casts and the two went on to exchange emails.

Fast forward about a year and Courtney has recently launched a small business doing casts of her own.

As far as Courtney is aware, her enterprise is unique on the Island.

She’s called it Captured Joy. Which is exactly what she’s hoping to do, for both her clients and herself.

“Everyone has their thing … for me, this fed the creative side of my soul,” she said.

The process of creating each cast is versatile, she explained.

The item (say a baby’s fist) is placed in a bowl of fast acting, Jello-like, material for about a minute. Once the mould hardens to a spongy consistency the item is removed and the plaster material is poured in. The mould is then peeled away and discarded, leaving a perfect cast of the item.

“They’re very detailed, you can see every little wrinkle,” said Courtney.

It takes between four and six weeks to complete one cast.

Courtney launched Captured Joy in the beginning of April and she’s already received several calls looking to set up appointments. Pricing ranges widely depending on what the size of the product is and what type of framing and decoration is required.

Her main focus is on baby keepsakes but she’s also open to casting adults or other projects.

Once the cast is complete, she can have the items mounted or framed, decorated or left unfinished.

She’s also offering belly casts for expectant moms as part of the business.

It’s essentially creating a cast of a pregnant woman’s torso.

Another service she’s offering, at least for now, is called angel casting.

It’s basically a normal hand cast – except it’s done on babies who aren’t expected to survive long after birth or who miscarry.

It’s a free service that other people who do castings offer and it’s something Courtney came across during her business research.

Having suffered a miscarriage of her own, she knows the appeal, even if she understands that it’s not something everyone would be interested in.

“It’s something to keep the memory, because a lot of times if people don’t have a photo or anything it’s all just in their head. There’s always that sort of yearning to have something you can reach out and touch,” she said.

Her work can be seen at


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