Plaster Casting

We had so much fun with our Crafty Tuesday group making plaster casts this week.

Here’s what you need: coloured or natural clay, Plaster of Paris, cooking foil, old bowl and mixing spoon, water, wire and pliers for hanging loops (optional – depends if you want to be able to hang your cast on the wall), plates for supporting casts while they dry, bits and pieces for pressing ie: seed heads, old keys, tiny children’s toys eg. plastic insects, fingers and toes, old jewellery, buttons etc. Anything with a texture really, but make sure you choose things which you can wash, as they will get covered in clay.

Ok let’s get started. Press or roll out a piece of clay.

Press your design.

Wrap it in a double layer of foil. Try to keep the foil tight and get it to stay as close to the edges of the clay as you can, (to minimise the amount of plaster which runs down the back).

Make sure your work is sitting on a plate or tray to support it for the next stage.

Mix Plaster of paris with enough water to form a thick creamy texture.

Everyone likes this bit!

When you’re ready, carefully pour the mixture into the mould. Jiggle and gently bump the plate or tray a bit to try to remove air bubbles that may be left in the plaster.

If you need loops for hanging, form the wire using your fingers or pliers as shown here.

When the plaster starts to thicken up in the mould, but is not yet fully hardened, push the loops well into the plaster so that only the loop sticks out.

Set aside to dry and enjoy your lunch!

Half to an hour later, gently peel of the foil and the clay (the clay will still be soft – in fact you will be able to save most of it to re-use for another cast).

And voila! Some amazing textures appear. You never quite know what you’re going to get – it’s very exciting and quite addictive!

So much so, that after everyone had left, Sam and I wanted to do more. And guess what we chose? Yep, a train!

Wrapped and ready.

We put sellotape across the top of the foil to stop the edges spreading out with the weight of the wet plaster. The above picture shows Sam cutting them once the plaster had hardened, ready to remove the train.

Patience was needed to remove all the clay from this one.

But it was worth it!

Just to add that Sam and I had never done this before today, and yet by the end of the afternoon we had some fantastic casts which are now on our walls. It was great fun, I’d strongly encourage you to have a go….. X


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