Wk1 – Art Experience – Plaster Casting

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Our very first art activity for the semester is plaster casting! This was my very first time creating a plaster cast and it was a very interesting experience. For this assignment, my class had the opportunity to complete this at the beach. I would’ve taken up this opportunity except for two things:

  1. It’s Chinese New Year weekend and I’ve been busy celebrating it. It was hard to find the time to start the project and finding time to go to the beach was even harder.
  2. I’m probably one of the 10% of Californians that don’t like the beach.

It was tempting to go the beach because it has two important items for this project: sand and water. Instead, I settled on doing it at home for the convenience. Also, buying sand wasn’t too bad. It was about $2 for 50 pounds. I couldn’t find a lighter bag of sand but at least it’s nice to know that I have some for another plaster casting emergency.

The instructions were fairly easy to follow. I put my hand in a bucket of wet sand and I slowly removed my hand in order to keep the shape. I then mixed the plaster and water together. With this mixture, I poured it inside of my mold and then just waited 30 minutes to take out my plaster cast.

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This is just a picture of the sand before I put the plaster and water mixture in.

The only thing I would do differently is to check the quality of the grain of sand before I start the project. I think this is a useful tip for those that would prefer to do this project at home and want a decent plaster cast. When I dug my plaster cast out of the sand I was a bit disappointed because the grain of sand was too big and as a result, it made my project look a little chunky. I was still pretty proud of the result though. This project also made me realize that it’s quite simple to make a plaster cast out of anything. Whenever I see the plaster cast process on TV, I just think, “wow that looks difficult to do.” In reality, it’s actually not that bad. Then again, I’m not a skilled artist and I haven’t worked with plaster a lot.

Would I do this project again? Yes! I’d give this project two thumbs up! (Get it? Cause I…I made a plaster cast…out of my hand…I will now excuse myself after that. Please no -1 points for poor jokes.)

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