As I read the instructions for this assignment I was excited. This doesn’t mean I didn’t begin the experience unsure and a bit confused! The last time I worked with plaster was in elementary school. I had no recollection of how it worked. As soon as I arrived at the beach, however, it all came back to me. I was ready to test my ability in plaster casting! I began by digging my hole…
I was a bit eager and dug the hole too deep initially. This was an easy fix though! Next came the mold…
This is definitely the trickiest part of the entire process. First you want to choose a formation that would be relatively easy and would stand on its own. It helps to have a friend help pack the sand here. In the end, what worked best for me was forcing my hand into the sand and then packing sand just around my wrist. Too tight of a pack actually worked against us as the mold collapsed from the weight. It took several attempts and good maneuvering! But finally success.
It was now time to mix the plaster. Plaster calls for two parts plaster to one part water. (Tip: If you pour the plaster out of the box into the bucket, you can use the box for the water!) There was just enough plaster for three hand molds. It became apparent to mix quickly as the plaster began to harden almost immediately. This was okay for my mold as it was poured in first. However, by the third mold the plaster had already hardened to a point where it wasn’t pouring in, rather, “blopping” into the mold. It was inconsistent and we were worried it didn’t fill the mold completely. It was too late at this point to adjust anything. It was time to trust the process. So, we waited.
This is the point to add seashells! Sadly, it didn’t cross my mind until it was too late. Next time!
After a very patient 30 minutes, it was time to set the cast free. The anticipation!
I was VERY pleasantly surprised!! Mine turned out wayyy better than I thought it would.
From this experience I learned a few things about plaster:
- Work fast with plaster
- Choose your mold wisely
and I learned a few things about art and life:
- Trust the process
- Expand on the process…meaning, don’t be afraid to be creative!