Palster Clasting (Activity week 1)

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This week’s activity was Plaster Casting. The goal of this activity was to create a 3d mold of your hand or foot.  The materials required included, a shovel, 4 lbs of plaster, a paintbrush, sand, and water. This activity works best at the beach because sand and water are easily available there. The process was fairly simple yet I found it to be extremely painful. First,  I picked a spot close enough to the water yet a safe distance from the waves. Then I began to dig a hole about 2 feet deep, and inserted my hand into the hole. I covered up my hand with sand and created a mold of my hand. I carefully took my hand out and began to make the plaster. I emptied the 4 lb plaster into a bucket and added one part water.  It’s very important to have the right mixture or else the plaster will not harden properly. Once the mixture was complete, I poured the plaster into the mold and allowed it to dry. (See pictures 2 and 3).

As I was waiting for the plaster to dry, I saw Professor Zucman and enjoyed a cup of his homemade sweet tea. Before I knew it, it was time to remove the mold from the hole. This is the part that I had the most trouble with. I carefully dug around the mold and began to take the mold out. But as I did, the fingers began to break off the hand and I was left with just a palm. I was very upset but I was determined to try again. So I repeated the process again. But this time Professor Zucman advised me to use less water in the mixture. Another 30 minutes later, I attempted to remove the mold again. Being more careful than the first time, I removed the mold.  But sadly, the mold fell apart again leaving me with just a palm.  However, the second mold came out better than the first mold.  I wanted to try again but I ran out of plaster. I feel that if I had more plaster, my mold would have came out better. After all, the third times always the charm.

When I heard about this activity, I already knew I was going to have problems with it.  Throughout my life, I never have been good at art, in particular sculpting. The main reason being, is that I am not a very patient person so removing the mold with great care was a nuisance. Even though I was not able to produce a complete hand mold, I was able to try something new. I liked the activity because it expanded my idea of what art can be. I thought it was really unique and creative to make a mold of your hand just by digging a hole.  When I researched Plaster Casting, I learned that it started in the early 16th century and  in later years, paleontologists used to use this method when they discovered dinosaur fossils.

During the activity I got to meet a couple of fellow students and they were very helpful. This activity was fun because it allowed me to make new friends and hangout at the beach on a great sunny day.  Overall, I had a lot of fun in the process.

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