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Re: plaster hands.....


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Oct 12 2001 - 20:21:38 PDT

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526
art webpage -
> I've always wanted to do plaster hands with my students. Do you use
> plastercraft? Does it come off the hand easily? I always imagined that the
> hand would get stuck in it. I'd appreciate any tips.
> Dee

It's really a whole lot easier to do hands than face masks. You don't need
to grease up for this. You can even make one on your own hand without much
hassle. 'Course I wouldn't suggest that with the students.

We cut our gauze strips approx. 3/4" by 3". We also cut some little squares
about 3/4" square for patch-up work.

You can cover either the front OR the back of the hand...not both. Say you
were covering the back: Cover the back of the wrist and above flat area
overlapping the strips in diff. directions. Next cover the fingers about 2/3
of the way around. Cover over the tips. Re-enforce the knuckle area and
between the fingers as this is where most of the problems lie when taking it
off. When you turn your hand over you will see a thin opening going all
around the inside of the hand. Let harden about 15-20 minutes. I say this
because the last time we did them, the hot water was cut off and we had to
use cold water. It took FOREVER to set up.

When hardened, flex fingers to release and pull gently. Lay it curled around
a wad of newspaper to dry. Next day we stuffed the fingers with newspaper
forming the underside shape of the hand. We went over this area with another
layer of gauze. Now the sculpture is 3D.

It's a little harder to get off the fingers as you have to be careful of the
knuckle area (kids never re-enforce enough) but just the same we had not one
mishap so it's very do-able. Warm water set-up would have made it a lot
nicer and faster! Toodles....Bunki