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Lesson Plans

Plaster gauze hands...

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Bunki Kramer (
Tue, 25 Aug 1998 07:45:41 -0700

>We've done plaster masks, but never hands. Maybe this is a too obvious
>question - but how do you get your hand out of the plaster? Do you remove
>before dry, and then reshape fingers, etc. Do you do the top and bottom
>surfaces separately, and then connect them somehow?
>I'm also assuming you use the plaster gauze strips to do these - or do you use
>just regular plaster?

I've had some of you posting questions about plaster gauze "hands" so I'm
going to answer to the gen. list. I'm sure there are other ways to do this
but here is our technique.

Kids work in groups of two. One is the "cast-er" and the other, the cast-ee
(who covers their hand with vasoline). We cut plaster gauze strips approx.
1x4". Dipping in water one at a time, the cast-er covers all of the back
side of the hand and partially around the sides...and 3/4's of the area
around the fingers. The inside (palm side) of the fingers are not covered
but left partially opened. The inside palm is also not covered. The cast-ee
helps the cast-er by smoothing down the semi-wet plaster on their hand
until the gauze is smoothed over with plaster. This prevents some of the
cloth showing through.

When dried, the cast-ee wiggles the "sculpture" very slowly back and forth
until loose enough to remove from the hand. When they have dried, you can
either re-cover for strength and at this point continue going around the
fingers and palm to fill in the opened area OR leave as is and just
re-enforce the edges of the opened areas like we do. It's neat to leave
open so you can paint the inside diff. from the outside.

It doesn't take long to do this project...usually 2 days to complete the
casting and 1 or 2 to decorate...unless you want to do community sculpture
themes like I had mentioned in an earlier post.

Someone mentioned they didn't use vasoline but instead used a latex glove
on the hand to be plastered. Sounds good to me.

I've also talked with someone who has done feet the same way. He mentioned
that the hands are definitely more expressive than big old feet with stubby
toes, ha!
He's done it twice and says it's not nearly as exciting as doing hands.


Bunki Kramer - Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Rd., Danville, California 94526