Plaster cast sculptures are among the easiest to make. A semi-pliable mold of an object is created from a medium like clay or alginate. When the object is removed, an impression is left behind. This is then filled with liquid plaster, which is allowed to harden before being removed. The results are startling in their lifelike appearance. Many people new to this type of art start by creating a mold of one of their hands using plaster. Even beginners can make professional-looking sculptures this way. The plaster captures every fine nuance of the hand, including fingernails or jewelry with remarkable detail.
Things You'll Need
- Measuring cup
- Two mixing bowls
- Dental alginate powder
- Wooden spoon
- Styrofoam or paper cup (32-oz. capacity)
- Plaster of Paris dry mix
- Acrylic paint or clear acrylic spray (optional)
Pour 2 cups of dental alginate powder into a bowl. Mix with an equal amount of water and stir well. Add additional water, a little at a time, until the consistency is very smooth.
Pour a small amount of alginate into the cup to a depth of 1 and 1/2 inches. The hand being cast should be inserted into the cup, well centered, so that neither the bottom nor the sides of the cup are being touched. Pour the prepared alginate mixture into the cup around the hand, stopping one inch below the top of the cup.
Begin preparing the plaster of Paris mixture according to the directions on the label. Wait 12 to 15 minutes for the alginate in the cup to set. Gently remove the hand from the cup, revealing the depression left behind. Quickly pour in the plaster mixture, filling the depression completely and the cup to the rim.
Let the cup remain undisturbed for 12 to 18 hours. Invert the cup, cut or tear it open at one side, and peel off the alginate and the rest of the cup in fragments. The plaster cast sculpture of the hand will emerge.
Spray the sculpture with clear acrylic or paint it. If you choose to paint it, flesh tones are especially striking as they cause the plaster hand to look even more realistic.