Experiments in plaster

Back in March this year – it seems a long time – I did a one day class in Body Casting with Kassandra Bossell. I’ve done a couple of classes trying out figure sculpting with her (1-Apr-2017); she’s a great teacher and I was keen to try something new.

We started with a ladling of plaster in our cupped hands. Weight, gradual warmth, and then some gentle wriggling to free ourselves. The detail captured is beautiful.

For the main part of the day we worked in pairs, selecting which of our body parts we wanted to mold and taking turns to plaster each other. Hands and feet were popular. One couple were casting the woman’s breasts as part of a Masters piece. I wanted my hand and lower arm, but emerging from a lump of material, not fully rounded.

The mold was painted with shellac before being used to cast the postitive. It’s a bit broken up due to a number of undercuts which made removal of the final cast difficult.

So difficult that the cast was broken into three parts, plus some anonymous lumps and powder. I knew that invisible repair is not my aesthetic, and immediately thought of kintsugi-inspired scars (7-Oct-2018). Which meant waiting until I got home.

Time passed.

I see some interesting possibilities using the techniques to make the base or a component for an object/sculpture.

Some more time passed. I tried using some plaster bandage, left over from the class, at home. A vessel form, extended by some netted wire.

Can you tell the body part?

A change of orientation, lighting, and an addition, makes it clear.

The knotted net was a nod to fishnet stockings.

The plaster bandage is light and moderately strong. Lots of potential.

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