I've been making hand sculptures for over 30 years
My name is Joseph “Paul” Goddard and I am the owner of Hands Unlimited. I first thought of this idea of molding hands while I was still in the military. It was in the mid to late 80’s when the idea came to mind, but I had to wait until the spring of 1989 to start my business when I got out of the US Army. The original idea came from making a wax hand at a renaissance fair. I decided to start my own business making wax hands at fairs and came up with the idea of filling the wax with plaster to make it more durable. This led to making solid castings using the wax as a mold instead of the final product, and to my surprise, nobody else was doing this art – especially on location.
Fast forward, I married and had four children. My family and I (including pets) would travel coast to coast dozens of times throughout the years. I have now been in business for over 30 years and have a great following of customers – thank you to all of my customers. I still love making hand sculptures, and now my daughter is also in the hand business and been traveling to shows since 2014.
To start, I make a mold of the customer’s hand with a dental molding material and then fill it with Hydrocal, a really hard plaster. The plaster sets for about 25 minutes and the mold is peeled off. After detailing the sculpture, the hand is mounted to a base for display. An engraved brass plate to attach to the sculpture can also be personalized through us (done through the mail).
When it comes to the process, I never claim to have invented it – Abraham Lincoln had his hand made – but I do believe I pioneered the process of making hand sculptures quickly and in front of the public. I am constantly perfecting the process and believe that I have made literally 10’s of thousands of hands over the years.
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