Monday, December 14, 2015

A Night of Artistic Experimentation

So I finally have some time to myself, tonight, and I've wanted to mess with this bag of mold-making plaster in the garage that's been there for quite some time now. I acquired it at a garage sale where I got a steal on a jewelry-making kiln ($40) and some molds to go with it. The lady who sold it to me, also gave me this box of mold-making plaster, and said that it all used to belong to her grandfather. I know ceramics used to be more of a popular hobby. What happened? Did the price of energy go up too high? Did people gain interest in other hobbies instead?

At any rate, a ceramic artist friend of mine said that plaster actually has a shelf life, and only typically lasts about 3 to 6 months. She mentioned that I might take some and test it out, before trying to do anything else with it. So tonight, I decided to gather some supplies and give it a go. I filled a cruet (the closest thing on hand) with some water, and also grabbed up a metal chopstick (for mixing) and an Altoids tin. If you're intending to duplicate this, grab whatever suitable items are close enough.

This is the box of mold-making plaster.

I checked for spiders and eggs, and then grabbed the box and ripped it open.

There was the bag of plaster, and a piece of paper. The paper talks about the brand Vigor-Vest. Turns out, this mold-making plaster is particularly of use for jewelry. Neat.

I put some of the material into the Altoids tin.

And added some water, and then mixed until it had a pancake mix-like consistency.

At the time of writing, I am letting it set, and harden a bit.

I let it set for about ten minutes or so, and by that time, it seemed fairly solid. So I took the shell I had, and pressed it into the material.

I took another ten minutes and did some dishes while I waited. Progress! Then, I checked the mold. The shell did take a little prying, but I was able to get it out, and I was left with a beautiful shell mold.

So it looks like the plaster's still good - and now I know how to make a mold out of an Altoid's tin - and so do you!

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