Artist Francine Krause poses with several of the pregnant belly masks she created or painted in her studio in Sebastopol, CA. Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.

Pregnant Belly Masks

Sixteen years ago, artist Francine Krauze was pregnant and wished she could save the shape of her pregnancy to decorate and display it like a piece of artwork. Since she had taken courses in body casting, she thought she could use the same technique on her own belly. This is how “Pregnant Belly Masks” was born.

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Since then, belly masking has become, for many pregnant women an important step in preparing for the arrival of their child. Some pay a lot of money to have their masks professionally done by Krause, while others order her kits so their husbands or friends can cast their bellies in the privacy of their own homes.
Francine charges from US$125 to US$1,000 for belly masks made in her studio. The price depends on the shape and style of the cast as well as the quality of the finish. Krause has made 450 belly masks, including a few for women who have been in labor at the time.
When creating a mask in her studio, Francine usually likes to take her time and make her client feel comfortable. She uses calm music to create a soothing atmosphere where she can explain the procedure to her pregnant client. Husbands, companions or friends are welcome to attend and participate.
Francine prefers to work on naked bodies to avoid recording the lines of clothes or under garments. She starts pouring Crisco margarine over the body to prevent the plaster from sticking to the skin and covers pubic and long hair with plastic wrap. She then soaks strips of plaster-filled gauze in a bucket of warm water, layer them over her client’s body and let them harden into what becomes like a suit of armor once dried. When the plaster dries, Krause takes if off from the body and trims the edges with scissors before smoothing with sand paper and applying acrylic paint on it to protect it from moisture.
For Francine, a belly mask is a powerful art form and a personal icon of the union of mother and child.

Francine Krause website is at www.bellymask.com


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Artist Francine Krause poses with several of the pregnant belly masks she created or painted in her studio in Sebastopol, CA. Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 28, 2004
Filename:
01-2226-0631
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Artist Francine Krause applies strips of plaster-filled gauze onto the belly of pregnant client Susan Vasquez in order to create a belly mask in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.                            Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 28, 2004
Filename:
02-2226-0484
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Artist Francine Krause dips strips of plaster-filled gauze in warm water before applying them onto the belly of pregnant client Susan Vasquez in order to create a belly mask in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.                            Francine  Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 28, 2004
Filename:
03-2226-0488
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Artist Francine Krause applies strips of plaster-filled gauze onto the belly of pregnant client Susan Vasquez in order to create a belly mask in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.               Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 28, 2004
Filename:
04-2226-0495
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Artist Francine Krause applies strips of plaster-filled gauze onto the belly of pregnant client Susan Vasquez in order to create a belly mask in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.                      Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 28, 2004
Filename:
05-2226-0522
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Artist Francine Krause applies strips of plaster-filled gauze onto the belly of pregnant client Susan Vasquez in order to create a belly mask in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.               Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 28, 2004
Filename:
06-2226-0536
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Artist Francine Krause pulls off the belly mask she just created on pregnant client Susan Vasquez in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.                      Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 28, 2004
Filename:
07-2226-0545
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Artist Francine Krause works on a pregnant belly mask she created in her studio in Sebastopol, CA. Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 21, 2004
Filename:
08-2226-0077
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The belly mask of a pregnant woman created by artist Francine Krause in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.                    Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 21, 2004
Filename:
09-2226-0257
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Artist Francine Krause trims the edges of a pregnant belly mask she created in her studio in Sebastopol, CA. Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 21, 2004
Filename:
10-2226-0182
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Artist Francine Krause trims the edges of a pregnant belly mask she created in her studio in Sebastopol, CA. Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 21, 2004
Filename:
11-2226-0179
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Artist Francine Krause applies more plaster on the belly mask of a pregnant woman she created in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.                                        Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 21, 2004
Filename:
12-2226-0274
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Artist Francine Krause dusts off a pregnant belly mask she created in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.                                  Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 21, 2004
Filename:
13-2226-0383
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Artist Francine Krause trims the edges of a pregnant belly mask she created in her studio in Sebastopol, CA. Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 21, 2004
Filename:
14-2226-0015
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Artist Francine Krause trims the edges of a pregnant belly mask she created in her studio in Sebastopol, CA. Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 21, 2004
Filename:
15-2226-0047
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Artist Francine Krause examines the belly mask of a pregnant woman she created in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.                                Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 21, 2004
Filename:
16-2226-0187
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Artist Francine Krause smoothes with sandpaper the surface  of a pregnant belly mask she created in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.                                        Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 21, 2004
Filename:
17-2226-0353
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Artist Francine Krause applies some mixture onto a pregnant belly mask she created in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.          Francine  Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 21, 2004
Filename:
18-2226-0427
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Artist Francine Krause poses with the belly mask of a pregnant woman she created in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.                                Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 21, 2004
Filename:
19-2226-0204
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Artist Francine Krause trims the edges of the belly mask she just created out of pregnant client Susan Vasquez in her studio in Sebastopol, CA. Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 28, 2004
Filename:
20-2226-0575
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Artist Francine Krause poses with the belly mask of  pregnant client Susan Vasquez she created in her studio in Sebastopol, CA. Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 28, 2004
Filename:
21-2226-0586
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Artist Francine Krause (middle) shows samples of her work to new clients Manuel and Susan Vasquez who came to have a belly mask created by Krause in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.                            Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 28, 2004
Filename:
22-2226-0454
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Artist Francine Krause proudly presents the belly mask she just created out of pregnant client Susan Vasquez in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.  Next to Vasquez is her husband Manuel. Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 28, 2004
Filename:
23-2226-0552
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Artist Francine Krause proudly presents the belly mask she just created out of pregnant client Susan Vasquez in her studio in Sebastopol, CA.  Next to Vasquez is her husband Manuel. Francine Krause, owner of "Pregnant Belly Masks", creates belly masks by applying strips of plaster-filled gauze on pregnant women who wish to keep a souvenir of their pregnancy in the form of a sculpture they can display in their own home.
Title:
Pregnant Belly Masks
Date:
July 28, 2004
Filename:
24-2226-0553
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