Paula switches from bobsledding to bodycasting for new Exmouth art firm

PUBLISHED: 18:30 24 May 2017

Paula Jackson with some of her 3-D bodycasts. Picture: Paul Strange.

Paula Jackson with some of her 3-D bodycasts. Picture: Paul Strange.


A former Olympic bobsledder is hoping for a fresh run of success as she launches her innovative new business in Exmouth.

Clasped hands by Paula Jackson.Clasped hands by Paula Jackson.

Paula Jackson, 31 – who competed at two Olympic Games representing Team GB – has re-trained as a 3-D bodycaster.

Her new business – Olympia Casting Studio – opens at 10am on Wednesday, May 31.

Paula will be offering bespoke pieces of personal artwork – such as clasped hands and babies’ feet, cast in plaster – from her studio in Queen’s Court (just off The Strand), and via her website.

And although she’s ‘not sure that Exmouth is ready’ for bodycasting and admits that the venture is a huge risk, she’s ‘a firm believer that luck favours the brave’ and she would kick herself for years to come if she didn’t give it a try.

Paula – who moved to Exmouth with her husband John after competing at Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014 – decided to retire from bobsledding when she had children.

“My perspective changed, and I wanted to treasure every single last keepsake. That surprised me because when I was doing sport, if I won a medal, it would just go into a drawer, but with my babies, it was quite different.

“That led me to see what was in Exmouth and I didn’t find anything.”

Bodycasting is an art form using a moulding jelly to make a life-size sculpture out of plaster. A casting appointment takes about 20 minutes, with the casting taking a couple of minutes.

Paula – who started out in bespoke jewellery and has had training at the Edinburgh Casting Studio – can cast pretty much anything on the body, but clasped hands, torsos and pregnancy bumps are proving popular.

Paula uses different types of plaster to produce the casts, although resin and metalwork may be options in the future. She also has hopes that as the business expands, she’ll be able to offer a mobile service, visiting those that are very ill or housebound.

Prices for clasped hands start at £200, while babies’ hands and feet, framed, start from £115.

Olympia Casting Studio (open on Wednesdays and Saturday mornings, appointment only) is at 1, Queen’s Court, Exmouth. Call 07590 455585.

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