Cover tables with newspaper.
Give each student a yogurt container filled about half way with a plaster. We
filled them the rest of the way up with water and they each mixed the plaster
until it was a creamy consistancy. Add a little white glue as a binder.
Stir with a popsicle stick.
Have students pour the fresh plaster onto 4"x4" wooden blocks. Spread it with
the popsicle stick and scrape the edges clean. Immediately use watercolor
sets and paint a design into the wet plaster. Dab the brush onto the plaster,
don't press into it hard. The surface of the plaster should remain relatively
They dry pretty fast. I used to stack them one on top of another, like tiles,
to display them in a showcase.
They are fragile, but with care they can make it home in one piece. You could
probably spray them with a clear acrylic spray. We just wrapped them
carefully in paper towels for the bus ride.
You can have the kids imagine how hard it must have been for Michelangelo,
working in wet plaster, upside down, at that height. They will relate without
needing to be upside down or up high.
Have them work out the design on scrap before you begin the plaster. Pick any
theme you like. Some of the most beautiful were non objective designs.