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Freezing memories:Meet Kashmir’s first 3D casting artist

Post by Syeda Rafiyah on Sunday, November 13, 2022

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Kashmir is lucky have some of the best artists who have presented their art work in a unique way and have attracted much attention for their talent. One among them is Dr Syed Juwahira Arooj, who creates unique 3D casting to preserve people’s memories.
3D casting is a three dimensional replica of hands and feet captured in meticulous detail and preserved for perpetuity. It is a trend that started after Queen Victoria engaged artists in capturing the hands of her kids.
A dentist by profession she said that during her BDS degree at DAV Dental College Solan, Himachal Pradesh she learned making dental material and she developed interest in 3D casting.
“I used cast material back when I practised dentistry and the thought occurred to me that why not to save the memories by using this technique,” she said.
In September 2021, Arooj created Moulding Memories, a social media page, to share her art work with people and started getting positive response.
She makes arts of people’s memories like when a baby is born and people want to save impression of hand or foot of child through 3D casting. In addition to that, she makes memories of young couples by doing 3D casting of their hands. 
“I started creating art during the Covid-19 lockdown. I had casting material at home and the artist in me wanted to make something out of it. I realized it has potential to be in the market, so started this initiative,” she said.
A 28-year-old hailing from Humhama area of Srinagar has learnt this technique herself and took help from YouTube to master it.Later, she went to Delhi and did a three-month training course in 3D arts. 
When Arooj gets an order, she is quick to make the art with the help of her team.She is the first 3D casting artist in Kashmir. She said in Kashmir there is no such scope for this arts but at the national and international level it has a huge scope.
“One has to take risk and learn the art. Young students can go in this field as well and in foreign countries there are many courses that aspiring students can choose,” said Arooj.
In this art, first, an impression is taken, followed by pouring it with impression plaster, and then casting is done. After creating a cast, it is left for cooling and solidification before the colouring takes place and finally framing finishes the process.
To get this art work done, a customers contact her through her Instagram. The price range for making a 3D artwork begins at Rs 1999 and the clientele is quite strong in this line of work.
“It takes at most 3 days to complete the casting. Most materials are imported from places other than Kashmir like Telangana and Gujarat. I get the maximum amount of the materials from outside.Being a budding 3D casting artist, I have kept charges very minimal for now,” she said.
Arooj said she wants people to know about this 3D casting as it isn’t popular in Kashmir but it is popular in southern Indian states.
“Moulding allows for the creation of a wide variety of designs, it is connected to sculpting in certain ways and is helpful in producing 3D art of anything that someone wants to keep as a solid memory for loved ones. People want to preserve what is dear to them in 3D form, and I help them in doing so,” she said.
Arooj said, outside J&K people preserve many memories like a blessing hand, but since this concept is new in Kashmir people usually prefer newborn handprints to be molded into a memory.
Making 3D casting art is not easy as its moulding process is challenging. “When creating the entire impression needs to be rebuilt if a cast somehow loses a minor part,” she said.
She said social media has been a powerful tool for her to reach out to people. When she gets order on social media then the customer comes personally to take the product.
“If I get orders in bulk then I will think of opening a studio in Srinagar which would be a permanent place for the customers and it would be easy for me,” she said.
Arooj has been getting inquiries from outside Kashmir but she is avoiding those inquiries as customers have to take the product personally. 

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