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Re: Plaster sculpture


Date: Fri Oct 05 2001 - 16:22:20 PDT

In a message dated 10/4/01 10:09:56 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

> Someone awhile ago suggested adding vermiculite to plaster to make it softer
> and easier to carve. If you know of this trick, can you please tell me
> the ratio of plaster to vermiculte should be?

I do Henry Moore with my HS. Art 1 every year. We carve the
vermiculite/plaster and they are required to have at least one hole in the
sculpture. I mix 1/3 plaster with 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 water. Use a coffee
can to scoop out the plaster and vermic. into a bucket. BE SURE TO WEAR A
MASK! Then gradually add the water and mix to a heavy cream consistency.We
poured the mixture into 16 oz. plastic cups which were later slit to remove
the set plaster. I mixed it first in a bucket, poured it into the cups and
sealed them in ziploc baggies which kept it moist for carving. You must keep
it moist to carve it without breaking, but not too wet. When they finished
the sculpture, we set them out to dry. Be sure to turn them over so the base
dries too. It will take about 5 days to dry, maybe less for you since Florida
is so humid. I also add used ground coffee for a stone-like appearance. We
finish them with a coat of clear gloss acrylic medium and they really look
like stone.
Good luck.