Sunday, October 4, 2009

How to make & use plaster plaques?

You must think I'm a plaster addict... well I am one apparently even though I don't like the mess of it but plaster is just so useful to many clay artists. I use a lot of plaster plaques while working with clay. They extract the water from the clay so that means that the object which is put on there will stay nice and flat. When my clay is too soft, I put it on a plaster plaque and a few minutes later, it's ready to use.
They are super handy to use so I'm going to show how I make these.
Here is what you need: baking trays or big plastic trays,
liquid beeswax, brush, plaster, container, waterPut some beeswax in your tray.
This makes sure that the plaster will come loose from the tray.
Makes sure that you put beeswax all around the tray.
Oops, I used a bit too much here but I'll poor it over

into another tray as I'm going to make lots of plaster plaques!
Mix your plaster: 1 cup of water & 3 cups of plaster - depends a bit on your plaster.
I usually use the pyramid method: put the plaster in one pile and when the water doesn't suck up the plaster anymore it's ready to stir.
Poor the plaster into the tray.
Shake the tray a little bit so that the airbubbles come out.
When the plaster is nearly dry, I quickly pressed some leaves into them.
Since I actually use the smooth side, I thought I could use the bottom too to create some textures... You can see what I did with the textures here.
After half an hour/an hour it's ready to come out of the tray.
It's still to wet to use but after drying it for a few days, it's ready to use.
It's freaking smooth - love it!
Here you can see the textured side.
And this is what I do with them: I put little cut out pieces of clay on them to let them dry. If I would let them dry by themselves, they would go all crooked. But since the plaster sucks the clay onto the surface they stay nice and flat. I also use newspaper to put on top as that also sucks the water out of the clay.
Hope you enjoyed another of my plaster/clay adventures! :)