Plaster sculpture and other things

Following from a discussion about lath and plaster in the context of DIY (thanks to the dancing professor) I remembered a first year project at City and Guilds from the dim and distant (predigital) past.

We were required to make a twice lifesize sculpture of part of the figure – working from a life model – using plaster, lath and scrim. This was a real challenge and a great learning experience, in terms of scale, materials and techniques. (One of the key tools for modelling the plaster once it had gone off was a cheese grater.)

Here are a couple of photos:

direct plaster sculpture

direct plaster sculpture
direct plaster sculpture

We also made direct plaster portrait heads, using polystyrene to build up the basic form and then adding plaster in its intermediate gloopy stage. You can model with it almost like clay while it is going off and then carve it once it is hard – very versatile material, not to mention its role in mould-making and casting.

direct plaster head
direct plaster head

In the background of the top picture you can see some of the first prints I made  – this was all in our first term (which is my excuse for the very bad drawings on the wall!).

[Commercial break] Talking of printmaking, the Cumbria Printmakers Kickstarter campaign is going well – nearly half way there at time of writing. Some new rewards have been added, including something from me. Pledges start from £1 and if we don’t reach the target of £5000 no money changes hands. It’s all or nothing. So, dear reader, it would be great if you could have a look and help spread the word. [end of commercial break] 🙂


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