Ellen Kirk, 29, from Bridgemary, is a life caster and owner of Memories Cast Forever. She makes casts of milestone moments in life, from newborn babies, pregnancies and engagements, to end-of-life memorials, so that the memories can be cherished forever.
She said: ‘My son was born at 4lb 7oz, he was so tiny and I just wanted to capture his hands and feet, so I got it done and had never seen anything like it before. I wanted to give the same to everyone else so I just booked myself onto a course and have done it ever since.’
Ellen has recently returned from Dundee, where she was trained by one of the best in the industry at Lumilo Casting Studio. She learnt how to master airbrushing techniques, which makes the casts last longer, gives a more antique finish and brings out more details in the cast.
Her instructor won’t train anyone else in a 50-mile radius from Ellen, meaning Memories Cast Forever is the only casting company in the area that offers airbrushed finishes.
Ellen also offers end-of-life memorials, which serve as an everlasting memory of a loved one’s presence once they have passed away. She wants more people to be aware that she offers this, as she has realised first-hand how much it can mean to someone.
Ellen Kirk, owner of Memories Cast Forever, Gosport. Picture: Chris Moorhouse.
She said: ‘It’s just obviously such an amazing memory to give someone, I did a casting of Sophie Fairall when she was first diagnosed, I did one of her and her mum.’
‘I’ve done quite a few of them for people in end-of-life care, they’re often with hands intertwined and things like that, and I just want people to know that it’s available to them if it’s something they’d like.’
Ellen also offers dog paw print casting, which uses a mud-like texture for the mould which acts as a more familiar feel for the dog.
Some of Ellen's castings in the drying process. Picture: Chris Moorhouse.
Story by Sophie Murray
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Ellen outside her studio that was built over lockdown. Picture: Chris Moorhouse.
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Casting of Ellen's hands (left) and Ellen and her husband's hands (right). Picture: Chris Moorhouse.
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