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 in her home office 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:
25-2226-0794
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One of the Do-It-Yourself Pregnant Bellymask kit developed and sold by artist Francine Krause. The kit has all the materials and step by step directions to allow pregnant women to create a mask of their own belly in less than one hour.  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:
26-2226-0780
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One of the Do-It-Yourself Pregnant Bellymask kit developed and sold by artist Francine Krause. The kit has all the materials and step by step directions to allow pregnant women to create a mask of their own belly in less than one hour.        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:
27-2226-0784
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Some of the belly masks of pregnant women 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:
28-2226-0176
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One of the numerous pregnant belly masks created  by artist Francine Krause. 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:
29-2226-0727
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One of the numerous pregnant belly masks created  by artist Francine Krause. 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:
30-2226-0704
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One of the numerous pregnant belly masks created  by artist Francine Krause. 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:
31-2226-0732
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One of the numerous pregnant belly masks created  by artist Francine Krause. 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:
32-2226-0763
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One of the numerous pregnant belly masks created  and painted by artist Francine Krause. 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:
33-2226-0720
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One of the numerous pregnant belly masks created  and painted by artist Francine Krause. 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:
34-2226-0714
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One of the numerous pregnant belly masks created  and painted by artist Francine Krause. 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:
35-2226-0717
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One of the numerous pregnant belly masks created  and painted by artist Francine Krause. 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:
36-2226-0735
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One of the numerous pregnant belly masks created  and painted by artist Francine Krause. 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:
37-2226-0724
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African belly mask that is believed to come from the Makonde tribe, Southeastern Tanzania.The mask is normally part of a costume worn by a male masquerader and the character portrays a woman in the later stages of pregnancy.  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:
August 9, 2004
Filename:
38-2226-1026
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Norman Clayton poses with his wife Chayo and 7-month-old daughter Ana Siena in their living room in Emeryville, CA,  in front of the belly mask created by artist Francine Krause during Chayo's pregancy. The bellymask is now proudly hanged as an art piece on a wall in their living room. 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:
August 9, 2004
Filename:
39-2226-0870
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Jack and Sue Lim pose in their living room in Alameda, CA, with their twin two-year-old sons, Cyrus (L) and Chet (R), and the belly mask created by artist Francine Krause during Sue's pregancy. The mask was later painted by another artist. 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:
August 9, 2004
Filename:
40-2226-0995
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Weldon and Lisa Clemons pose in their house in Oakland, CA, with their 3-year-old son Malcolm and the belly mask created by artist Francine Krause during Lisa's pregancy. The mask was painted by Krause and decorated by Lisa. 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:
August 9, 2004
Filename:
41-2226-1067
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