The Plaster workshop taught me how to cast a mould of my hands.
Initially, we had to ensure the bowls and/or buckets that we were using were clean so then there was no contamination with lumps and unwanted materials. The powder that we used for the casting had to be mixed 1 part powder to 3 parts water. With a 900 gram bag, we needed to use 2.7 litres of water. To make this process easier, we worked in groups, meaning a group of 3 needed 8.1 litres of water. Once the water was ready, we also needed to be ready with the bowls we were going to cast in as it would start settling quickly. When we are all ready, all the powder was added to the water and mixed thoroughly for 30 seconds, and poured onto our hands (and some, their feet).
It was then a waiting game as we needed to ensure that the mould had set before we moved. Due to the position I had put my hands in, I found it very difficult to then lift my hands out, therefore taking a few minutes. I was very impressed with the level of detail the mould showed – everything down to the grains of the skin.
To make the plaster, we filled a bowl of water between a 1/3 and 1/2 mark. Sifting the plaster powder (which felt like heavy flour, or cornflour) through our fingers allowed large lumps to be broken up before it sunk into the water. We continued this process with handfuls of flour until small islands in the water were not disappearing. The plaster was then mixed my hand to ensure there was no lumps and a smooth consistency was achieved.
When pouring the plaster into the mould, we did it bit by bit. This was so then we could swirl the plaster around the mould, trying to cover all nooks and crannies that could be hidden in the cast. This process was repeated until either we had filled the mould level with the top, or added a base. This was then left to dry for 24-48 hours.
Above: Photographs of part of the process to make the mould.
Above: Photographs taken during the process of taking the mould off, revealing the hands. I was very impressed of how detailed each finger was, down the the creases of the skin. I do need to go back and take out all the little bits of mould and dust it off.