The Sculpting crew in their brand new T-shirts
Marty made on the computer. From left: Steven M. Overton, Jason Ropp, Bill Holznagel, Marty Richmond.
A torso in its plastic casting tub ready for pouring. There are actually two pieces of pipe holding the torso up, to allow removal from the casting box later. The areas where the the pieces of pipe pass through the box are sealed up with plasticene on the inside and the outside.
A pair of feet ready for pouring. The black dashes are actually strings holding up the toes of the foot. They will be removed before the top half is cast in plaster.
The foot carvings have been sprayed with two coats of mold soap to allow the plasticine to free itself from the mold. We will also spray mold soap on the top of the first pour of plaster to allow for the two or more halves of the mold to separate.
Plaster in one bucket, water in the other. The strainer is in the lower left corner. We bought a flour sifter and punched some of the holes a little larger. We use US Gypsum #1 Casting Plaster.
Bouncing the plaster in the sifter gently settles it into the water.
May 28, 2001
Well, we've carved enough pieces that it's now time for mold making. We still have a lot of carving ahead of us, but now the next step can also begin.
The plaster in the COOL water getting wet and awaiting mixing. To mix the plaster, we follow the rule of twos: Once all the plaster is sifted into the water, wait two minutes. Then mix for two minutes. Then, let it sit for another two minutes and you're ready to pour.
Bill Pouring and Marty sifting. Always mix the plaster into the water and not the reverse. We use three pounds of plaster to each quart of water. You can see the scale sitting on the floor under the green bucket in the picture above. Two gallons of water and 24 pounds of plaster will make 3 gallons of ready-to-pour plaster.
Bill mixing the plaster. Nothing works better than doing it by hand. With experience you get to feel when it is ready. Overmixing and undermixing are both bad.
You only have a limited amount of time to work with the plaster once it has been mixed. You don't have to hurry, but you can't stop for lunch, either. The whole process, from mixing to reasonably hardened plaster takes about one-half hour.
A word of warning: If you decide to try this at home, pour NOTHING from your plaster operations down the sink drain in your house. Don't rinse the plaster off your hands in the sink, don't rinse your tools in the sink, don't pour your unused plaster in the sink. Pretend you don't own a sink. Otherwise, the Roto-Rooter person will become your best friend.
Also, buy a good book on mold making techniques and procedures. What's shown here does not attempt to cover all the steps in the process.