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Re: [art_education] Plaster?

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  • Paula S. Engel
    Message 1 of 18 , Aug 28 11:36 AM
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    • christine alexander
      Hello, I too, teach Henri Moore with plaster. Before you have the students do anything the best thing you coul ddo is play with the material. I have made large
      Message 2 of 18 , Aug 28 11:36 AM
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        Hello,
        I too, teach Henri Moore with plaster.
        Before you have the students do anything the best thing you coul ddo is play with the material. I have made large and small sculptures using plaster. I have the kids bring in old sheets and I go to thrift stores and pick up some for really cheap. Prep is so important with plaster.
        Get through the lesson, Cubism, Henri Moore, whatever it may be and then begin to prep.
        Lots of buckets, sheets cut into strips, wire if you are building a sculpture for the skeleton of the project, newspaper to build around the wire and lots of tape to hold the paper in place.
        Set a big bucket of water away from the sink for initial washing of hands after you start plastering. It will ruin your sink so hands in the bucket first. Plaster will settle so you can use the water a couple of times.
        The last thing to do is mix the plaster in small amounts. It hardens fast and then you are left with a waste of material. So lots of buckets for small amounts of mixed plaster at a time. They could partner up or work alone. Both have worked for me.
        Dip the strips of fabric in the plaster and begin to build your sculpture. Just before the plaster hardens you can use that slurry to put directly on the already plastered parts of your sculputre to smooth it out or create more texture.
        It is an amazingly fun material, I have used it for many different projects.
        THe porcess is key, get that set and you will have a blast.
        Oh another thought, I have had students cover a hand in vasoline and using the strips and plaster make a mold of their hand too.
        Have fun,
        Christine
         
         

        --- On Sat, 8/28/10, Steph <sphelos@...> wrote:

        From: Steph <sphelos@...>
        Subject: [art_education] Plaster?
        To: art_education@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Saturday, August 28, 2010, 10:12 AM

         
        Hi there folks. I'm a new high school 3D Design teacher. With no budget, I have to use what I've got at the start of the year-- which is 4 large bags of plaster and a good bit of plaster. I have little experience with plaster, and I'm looking for some advice. My questions are:

        -How do you organize the class to use plaster?
        -What other materials would I need to work with plaster?
        -Cleaning hands?
        -What are some good high school plaster projects?
        -Any suggestions for smooth class transitions, safety, and class rules when using plaster?

        I read a lesson where the students would pour plaster into garbage bags and mold it in the bag until it sets. Has anyone tried this?

        Thanks in advance for your help! It's so very appreciated.

        Stephanie


      • Kathleen Maledon
        no ideas, just a caution............plaster dust. for asthmatics, blowing plaster dust, flying plaster dust is deadly. k
        Message 3 of 18 , Aug 28 12:01 PM
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          no ideas, just a caution............plaster dust.   for asthmatics, blowing plaster dust, flying plaster dust is deadly.
          k
          On Aug 28, 2010, at 7:12 AM, Steph wrote:

          Hi there folks. I'm a new high school 3D Design teacher. With no budget, I have to use what I've got at the start of the year-- which is 4 large bags of plaster and a good bit of plaster. I have little experience with plaster, and I'm looking for some advice. My questions are:

          -How do you organize the class to use plaster?
          -What other materials would I need to work with plaster?
          -Cleaning hands?
          -What are some good high school plaster projects?
          -Any suggestions for smooth class transitions, safety, and class rules when using plaster?

          I read a lesson where the students would pour plaster into garbage bags and mold it in the bag until it sets. Has anyone tried this? 

          Thanks in advance for your help! It's so very appreciated.

          Stephanie


        • Diane Gregory
          Hi Stephanie and others, Although I am not an expert on plaster carving, I do know the more water one puts in your mixture the softer it will be to carve.
          Message 4 of 18 , Aug 28 12:12 PM
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             Hi Stephanie and others,

            Although I am not an expert on plaster carving, I do know the more water one puts in your mixture the softer it will be to carve.  Typically the directions call for one part water and two parts plaster.  Just add a little more water than recommended.  However, doing this will take longer for the plaster to set.  You might try a combination of slightly more water and baking soda.  As you mix it you can add some fine sand to the mix to further make it easier to carve and add texture.  Some people recommend inserting a wire armature in the plaster before it sets.  This is a good idea since your goal is to make the plaster softer and easier to carve.  The armature will give it more strength as you make the plaster softer and will help prevent the plaster from breaking off in large chunks or crumbling.  You can attach the wire armature to a wooden board if you like.  If you have never used plaster before, I highly recommend trying it on your own several weeks in advance to work out a recipe that will work for you.

            There are big issues with clean up and classroom management with plaster, of course:  dust, water, safety with carving tools and storage of on-going projects, disposal of unused plaster, working space for sculpture carving, traffic flow during during clean up, etc.

            Here are a few suggestions:

            Identify places for storage of on-going plaster sculptures.  Most art classrooms lack adequate storage for 3D work.  So you will probably have to get creative.  You can try to locate older AV carts, older book cases made of wood preferably or clear out some shelves for a temporary basis but leave the doors open so plaster can get air...wet plaster can quickly mold...so make sure the plaster gets lots of air.

            Put a warning sign on the sink about disposing of plaster via the sink.  Provide a very large trash can lined with a plastic bag for putting unwanted plaster.

            Review clean-up procedures with the class and post them on a wall. Consider staggering clean-up to minimize chaos. :-) Minimize mess by asking students to brush off dry plaster into a trash container before adding any water to the tables.  I have had students immediately apply water to a table that had lots of dry plaster on it and thereby creating an even bigger and harder mess to clean up.  The disadvantage about brushing off plaster can be creating air born dust that can get into the lungs and cause allergies, etc.  Try to minimize as much dust as possible.  One way to do this is to have students make small sculptures rather than large ones.  I recommend cutting down the size of the milk carton to reduce the amount of plaster.  If you have several classes doing plaster sculpture wait til the end of the day if possible to use water for clean up of the tables.  In some cases you can not do this, so you may want to give each student their own canvas place mat to work on.  If you have an out door area it might be advisable to pour the plaster into milk cartons outside.  I would also consult with your custodial staff about this, since the dust may make more or different kind of work for them.  They can be very helpful in finding more trash cans, plastic bags, old shelves, etc.

            If possible give students more working space.  Typically more work space is required for 3D work.  You may want to consider how to rearrange your classroom to get more space available if possible.

            Move tables further apart if possible to open up traffic areas and provide more trash cans if possible.  If you have individual student desks like I had then push the desks together if possible to share supplies and tools.  This also creates more space for walking around more easily.

            Good luck with all of this!  You have had many good suggestions on the list.

            Diane











             

            If you add a small amount of baking soda to the mix it will be easier to carve. It will crumble if you add to much so you may want to google to see if there is a recipe or try a batch trial and error first. I did this with students several years ago soda made plaster so much easier to carve, but I can't remember the ratio of soda to plaster. We saved up milk cartons poured the mix into them, let set for a couple of days over weekend, etc. cut away the carton and carved. Students were very creative some dug out holes others just carved designs and pictures into the plaster. We painted them with acrylics in a solid color. Wanda





          • Steph
            Wow! I can t thank you all enough for the responses. So thorough and helpful! I ll definitely be using all the advice. This group is a lifesaver for new art
            Message 5 of 18 , Aug 28 3:21 PM
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              Wow! I can't thank you all enough for the responses. So thorough and helpful! I'll definitely be using all the advice. This group is a lifesaver for new art teachers. Thanks again everyone!

              --- In art_education@yahoogroups.com, Diane Gregory <gregory.diane55@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > Hi Stephanie and others,
              >
              > Although I am not an expert on plaster carving, I do know the more water one
              > puts in your mixture the softer it will be to carve. Typically the directions
              > call for one part water and two parts plaster. Just add a little more water
              > than recommended. However, doing this will take longer for the plaster to set.
              > You might try a combination of slightly more water and baking soda. As you mix
              > it you can add some fine sand to the mix to further make it easier to carve and
              > add texture. Some people recommend inserting a wire armature in the plaster
              > before it sets. This is a good idea since your goal is to make the plaster
              > softer and easier to carve. The armature will give it more strength as you make
              > the plaster softer and will help prevent the plaster from breaking off in large
              > chunks or crumbling. You can attach the wire armature to a wooden board if you
              > like. If you have never used plaster before, I highly recommend trying it on
              > your own several weeks in advance to work out a recipe that will work for you.
              >
              > There are big issues with clean up and classroom management with plaster, of
              > course: dust, water, safety with carving tools and storage of on-going
              > projects, disposal of unused plaster, working space for sculpture carving,
              > traffic flow during during clean up, etc.
              >
              > Here are a few suggestions:
              >
              > Identify places for storage of on-going plaster sculptures. Most art classrooms
              > lack adequate storage for 3D work. So you will probably have to get creative.
              > You can try to locate older AV carts, older book cases made of wood preferably
              > or clear out some shelves for a temporary basis but leave the doors open so
              > plaster can get air...wet plaster can quickly mold...so make sure the plaster
              > gets lots of air.
              >
              > Put a warning sign on the sink about disposing of plaster via the sink. Provide
              > a very large trash can lined with a plastic bag for putting unwanted plaster.
              >
              > Review clean-up procedures with the class and post them on a wall. Consider
              > staggering clean-up to minimize chaos. :-) Minimize mess by asking students to
              > brush off dry plaster into a trash container before adding any water to the
              > tables. I have had students immediately apply water to a table that had lots of
              > dry plaster on it and thereby creating an even bigger and harder mess to clean
              > up. The disadvantage about brushing off plaster can be creating air born dust
              > that can get into the lungs and cause allergies, etc. Try to minimize as much
              > dust as possible. One way to do this is to have students make small sculptures
              > rather than large ones. I recommend cutting down the size of the milk carton to
              > reduce the amount of plaster. If you have several classes doing plaster
              > sculpture wait til the end of the day if possible to use water for clean up of
              > the tables. In some cases you can not do this, so you may want to give each
              > student their own canvas place mat to work on. If you have an out door area it
              > might be advisable to pour the plaster into milk cartons outside. I would also
              > consult with your custodial staff about this, since the dust may make more or
              > different kind of work for them. They can be very helpful in finding more trash
              > cans, plastic bags, old shelves, etc.
              >
              > If possible give students more working space. Typically more work space is
              > required for 3D work. You may want to consider how to rearrange your classroom
              > to get more space available if possible.
              >
              > Move tables further apart if possible to open up traffic areas and provide more
              > trash cans if possible. If you have individual student desks like I had then
              > push the desks together if possible to share supplies and tools. This also
              > creates more space for walking around more easily.
              >
              > Good luck with all of this! You have had many good suggestions on the list.
              >
              > Diane
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >If you add a small amount of baking soda to the mix it will be easier to carve.
              > >It will crumble if you add to much so you may want to google to see if there is
              > >a recipe or try a batch trial and error first. I did this with students several
              > >years ago soda made plaster so much easier to carve, but I can't remember the
              > >ratio of soda to plaster. We saved up milk cartons poured the mix into them, let
              > >set for a couple of days over weekend, etc. cut away the carton and carved.
              > >Students were very creative some dug out holes others just carved designs and
              > >pictures into the plaster. We painted them with acrylics in a solid color. Wanda
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
            • Steph Phelos
              Thanks so much! This is so helpful, especially all the details about clean up. Are there any carving tools that you would recommend? Stephanie
              Message 6 of 18 , Aug 28 3:23 PM
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                Thanks so much! This is so helpful, especially all the details about clean up. Are there any carving tools that you would recommend? 

                Stephanie


                From: Diane Gregory <gregory.diane55@...>
                To: art_education@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sat, August 28, 2010 3:12:55 PM
                Subject: Re: [art_education] Re: Plaster?

                 


                 Hi Stephanie and others,

                Although I am not an expert on plaster carving, I do know the more water one puts in your mixture the softer it will be to carve.  Typically the directions call for one part water and two parts plaster.  Just add a little more water than recommended.  However, doing this will take longer for the plaster to set.  You might try a combination of slightly more water and baking soda.  As you mix it you can add some fine sand to the mix to further make it easier to carve and add texture.  Some people recommend inserting a wire armature in the plaster before it sets.  This is a good idea since your goal is to make the plaster softer and easier to carve.  The armature will give it more strength as you make the plaster softer and will help prevent the plaster from breaking off in large chunks or crumbling.  You can attach the wire armature to a wooden board if you like.  If you have never used plaster before, I highly recommend trying it on your own several weeks in advance to work out a recipe that will work for you.

                There are big issues with clean up and classroom management with plaster, of course:  dust, water, safety with carving tools and storage of on-going projects, disposal of unused plaster, working space for sculpture carving, traffic flow during during clean up, etc.

                Here are a few suggestions:

                Identify places for storage of on-going plaster sculptures.  Most art classrooms lack adequate storage for 3D work.  So you will probably have to get creative.  You can try to locate older AV carts, older book cases made of wood preferably or clear out some shelves for a temporary basis but leave the doors open so plaster can get air...wet plaster can quickly mold...so make sure the plaster gets lots of air.

                Put a warning sign on the sink about disposing of plaster via the sink.  Provide a very large trash can lined with a plastic bag for putting unwanted plaster.

                Review clean-up procedures with the class and post them on a wall. Consider staggering clean-up to minimize chaos. :-) Minimize mess by asking students to brush off dry plaster into a trash container before adding any water to the tables.  I have had students immediately apply water to a table that had lots of dry plaster on it and thereby creating an even bigger and harder mess to clean up.  The disadvantage about brushing off plaster can be creating air born dust that can get into the lungs and cause allergies, etc.  Try to minimize as much dust as possible.  One way to do this is to have students make small sculptures rather than large ones.  I recommend cutting down the size of the milk carton to reduce the amount of plaster.  If you have several classes doing plaster sculpture wait til the end of the day if possible to use water for clean up of the tables.  In some cases you can not do this, so you may want to give each student their own canvas place mat to work on.  If you have an out door area it might be advisable to pour the plaster into milk cartons outside.  I would also consult with your custodial staff about this, since the dust may make more or different kind of work for them.  They can be very helpful in finding more trash cans, plastic bags, old shelves, etc.

                If possible give students more working space.  Typically more work space is required for 3D work.  You may want to consider how to rearrange your classroom to get more space available if possible.

                Move tables further apart if possible to open up traffic areas and provide more trash cans if possible.  If you have individual student desks like I had then push the desks together if possible to share supplies and tools.  This also creates more space for walking around more easily.

                Good luck with all of this!  You have had many good suggestions on the list.

                Diane











                 

                If you add a small amount of baking soda to the mix it will be easier to carve. It will crumble if you add to much so you may want to google to see if there is a recipe or try a batch trial and error first. I did this with students several years ago soda made plaster so much easier to carve, but I can't remember the ratio of soda to plaster. We saved up milk cartons poured the mix into them, let set for a couple of days over weekend, etc. cut away the carton and carved. Students were very creative some dug out holes others just carved designs and pictures into the plaster. We painted them with acrylics in a solid color. Wanda






              • Diane Gregory
                Both Nasco and Dick Blick have a variety of tools for plaster carving. I think you mentioned that your budget is small, but if you can afford some basic tools
                Message 7 of 18 , Aug 28 4:54 PM
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                  Both Nasco and Dick Blick have a variety of tools for plaster carving.  I think you mentioned that your budget is small, but if you can afford some basic tools such as rasps and chisels, that will certainly help.  If not, you may have to use basic tools like simple kitchen knives with no sharp edges (just plain blunt knives) and hammers.  You will have to be creative with whatever you have on hand...Go to the Salvation Army to see what kind of metal tools you can find that could substitute for rasps and chisels and hammers.  You can substitute heavy duty sand paper for rasps, but rasps are best.  There are about five or six basic tools for plaster carving, but for me rasps and chisels or something to substitute for these would be great.  In case you are not familiar with these tools, rasps are used to scrape and sand (they are like heavy duty metal sanding tools) and chisels, of course can allow one to chomp off pieces of plaster using some kind of mallet or hammer.  There are pictures of these tools at my favorite art supply catalog:  Dick Blick or Nasco.  I have had good luck with either company.  Both companies have a web site with real good pictures.

                  Good luck.

                  Diane


                  From: Steph Phelos <sphelos@...>
                  To: art_education@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Sat, August 28, 2010 5:23:41 PM
                  Subject: Re: [art_education] Re: Plaster?

                   

                  Thanks so much! This is so helpful, especially all the details about clean up. Are there any carving tools that you would recommend? 

                  Stephanie


                  From: Diane Gregory <gregory.diane55@...>
                  To: art_education@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Sat, August 28, 2010 3:12:55 PM
                  Subject: Re: [art_education] Re: Plaster?

                   


                   Hi Stephanie and others,

                  Although I am not an expert on plaster carving, I do know the more water one puts in your mixture the softer it will be to carve.  Typically the directions call for one part water and two parts plaster.  Just add a little more water than recommended.  However, doing this will take longer for the plaster to set.  You might try a combination of slightly more water and baking soda.  As you mix it you can add some fine sand to the mix to further make it easier to carve and add texture.  Some people recommend inserting a wire armature in the plaster before it sets.  This is a good idea since your goal is to make the plaster softer and easier to carve.  The armature will give it more strength as you make the plaster softer and will help prevent the plaster from breaking off in large chunks or crumbling.  You can attach the wire armature to a wooden board if you like.  If you have never used plaster before, I highly recommend trying it on your own several weeks in advance to work out a recipe that will work for you.

                  There are big issues with clean up and classroom management with plaster, of course:  dust, water, safety with carving tools and storage of on-going projects, disposal of unused plaster, working space for sculpture carving, traffic flow during during clean up, etc.

                  Here are a few suggestions:

                  Identify places for storage of on-going plaster sculptures.  Most art classrooms lack adequate storage for 3D work.  So you will probably have to get creative.  You can try to locate older AV carts, older book cases made of wood preferably or clear out some shelves for a temporary basis but leave the doors open so plaster can get air...wet plaster can quickly mold...so make sure the plaster gets lots of air.

                  Put a warning sign on the sink about disposing of plaster via the sink.  Provide a very large trash can lined with a plastic bag for putting unwanted plaster.

                  Review clean-up procedures with the class and post them on a wall. Consider staggering clean-up to minimize chaos. :-) Minimize mess by asking students to brush off dry plaster into a trash container before adding any water to the tables.  I have had students immediately apply water to a table that had lots of dry plaster on it and thereby creating an even bigger and harder mess to clean up.  The disadvantage about brushing off plaster can be creating air born dust that can get into the lungs and cause allergies, etc.  Try to minimize as much dust as possible.  One way to do this is to have students make small sculptures rather than large ones.  I recommend cutting down the size of the milk carton to reduce the amount of plaster.  If you have several classes doing plaster sculpture wait til the end of the day if possible to use water for clean up of the tables.  In some cases you can not do this, so you may want to give each student their own canvas place mat to work on.  If you have an out door area it might be advisable to pour the plaster into milk cartons outside.  I would also consult with your custodial staff about this, since the dust may make more or different kind of work for them.  They can be very helpful in finding more trash cans, plastic bags, old shelves, etc.

                  If possible give students more working space.  Typically more work space is required for 3D work.  You may want to consider how to rearrange your classroom to get more space available if possible.

                  Move tables further apart if possible to open up traffic areas and provide more trash cans if possible.  If you have individual student desks like I had then push the desks together if possible to share supplies and tools.  This also creates more space for walking around more easily.

                  Good luck with all of this!  You have had many good suggestions on the list.

                  Diane











                   

                  If you add a small amount of baking soda to the mix it will be easier to carve. It will crumble if you add to much so you may want to google to see if there is a recipe or try a batch trial and error first. I did this with students several years ago soda made plaster so much easier to carve, but I can't remember the ratio of soda to plaster. We saved up milk cartons poured the mix into them, let set for a couple of days over weekend, etc. cut away the carton and carved. Students were very creative some dug out holes others just carved designs and pictures into the plaster. We painted them with acrylics in a solid color. Wanda






                • judy butler
                  I like doing a plaster project in my class. We look at art created by the Inuits. The basic requirement is that the student create a sculpture of an animal.
                  Message 8 of 18 , Aug 29 7:51 AM
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                    I like doing a plaster project in my class. We look at art created by the Inuits. The basic requirement is that the student create a sculpture of an animal. Students have to have preapproved drawing that demonstrates an understanding of their animal with approximate measurements. They have to draw it from 3 sides. Not easy for some students so I also have some of the clay that an elementary teacher gave me - plasticine type. The clay allows toem to create something that is 3-d first and helps them see the sculpture.There can be sufficient detail to be able to know what the animal is but not too much . Nothing that sticks out much.
                    These pieces are hand size. We pour the plaster in a variety of containers. Sometimes the students decide they can't find an existing container so they make one from cardboard. This is a challenging project for some students who are not used to dealing with 3-d work but that shouldn't be a problem since your class is all 3-d.

                    Have fun. Stay away from the sinks.
                    Judy
                  • Diane Gregory
                    I like the idea of doing an animal sculpture. If your students have access to the Internet, they can download pictures of animals to help them visualize the
                    Message 9 of 18 , Aug 29 8:37 AM
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                      I like the idea of doing an animal sculpture.  If your students have access to the Internet, they can download pictures of animals to help them visualize the animals.  You might want to identify some basic criteria for their performance such as the sculpture should:

                      Show the animal in some kind of action or pose or position.
                      Indicate texture in a variety of ways by engraving and/or painting or both
                      Be at least 6 inches high and approximately 4 inches wide (Just a suggestion)
                      Be in the round, rather than a carving on six different sides
                      Include important details such as eyes, ears, nose, claws, etc.

                      I like the suggestion about basing the lesson on the Intuit.  You might think about other possible themes according to a geographic area or culture.  Instead of animals, perhaps you could do amphibians and/or reptiles and integrate this with science.  You could look at the Oaxacan Mexican sculptures and have students create a sculpture that is a combination of two or three different animals, reptiles or amphibians.  I have a Oaxacan sculpture on display in my home.  It is a combination of a porcupine and armadillo.  There are numerous web sites on this topic with some great visuals.

                      The hardest part about doing plaster sculpture I found was helping students think and work three dimensionally.  Most of the students struggled with this and their final sculptures were very boxy.  It was like they were doing releif sculpture on each side rather than thinking and working in the round.  Afte struggling this for many years, I tried giving students some soft modeling clay to help them make small preliminary sculpture models.  This helped a lot.  However, the hardness of the plaster often made it very challenging for students to create sculptures in the round.  So it is important to make the plaster as soft or carvable as possible.   Or perhaps you could look at primitive Egyptian animal sculpture that was very boxxy.

                      Hope this helps.

                      Diane



                       

                      I like doing a plaster project in my class. We look at art created by the Inuits. The basic requirement is that the student create a sculpture of an animal. Students have to have preapproved drawing that demonstrates an understanding of their animal with approximate measurements. They have to draw it from 3 sides. Not easy for some students so I also have some of the clay that an elementary teacher gave me - plasticine type. The clay allows toem to create something that is 3-d first and helps them see the sculpture.There can be sufficient detail to be able to know what the animal is but not too much . Nothing that sticks out much.
                      These pieces are hand size. We pour the plaster in a variety of containers. Sometimes the students decide they can't find an existing container so they make one from cardboard. This is a challenging project for some students who are not used to dealing with 3-d work but that shouldn't be a problem since your class is all 3-d.

                      Have fun. Stay away from the sinks.
                      Judy

                    • icreatemore
                      http://www.ehow.com/about_6463316_plaster-paris-safety.html I would strongly advise to research the safety issues. I had my kids wear old cloths, safety
                      Message 10 of 18 , Aug 29 9:19 AM
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                        http://www.ehow.com/about_6463316_plaster-paris-safety.html

                        I would strongly advise to research the safety issues. I had my kids wear old cloths, safety goggles, mask and thought I was on top of things...oops forgot the gloves and or cream...I think kids are just more hypersensitive now days. I am going to try it again this year but in smaller groups with gloves.

                        CA
                        Middle School

                        --- In art_education@yahoogroups.com, "Steph" <sphelos@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hi there folks. I'm a new high school 3D Design teacher. With no budget, I have to use what I've got at the start of the year-- which is 4 large bags of plaster and a good bit of plaster. I have little experience with plaster, and I'm looking for some advice. My questions are:
                        >
                        > -How do you organize the class to use plaster?
                        > -What other materials would I need to work with plaster?
                        > -Cleaning hands?
                        > -What are some good high school plaster projects?
                        > -Any suggestions for smooth class transitions, safety, and class rules when using plaster?
                        >
                        > I read a lesson where the students would pour plaster into garbage bags and mold it in the bag until it sets. Has anyone tried this?
                        >
                        > Thanks in advance for your help! It's so very appreciated.
                        >
                        > Stephanie
                        >
                      • Diane Gregory
                        Hey Art Educators! Thanks for the suggestions about safety when using plaster. Also, thanks for the link. I went to the link and was reminded that plaster
                        Message 11 of 18 , Aug 29 9:40 AM
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                          Hey Art Educators!

                          Thanks for the suggestions about safety when using plaster.  Also, thanks for the link.
                          I went to the link and was reminded that plaster gets hot while it is setting up.  I forgot about that.  Also, the site mentioned that plaster can be called Gesso....yes this is a good reminder that Gesso is actually plaster...forgot about that too.

                          The web site also has some useful tips about working with plaster and your suggestions
                          about wearing smocks, gloves, providing lotion and wearing masks are great suggestions.  Sounds like a whole lot of preparation. :-)  It might be good to identify some community volunteers to help out with some of the labor of working
                          with Plaster of Paris.  Perhaps someone from the construction industry or a visiting artist could be found from your state's Arts Council.

                          I also think one needs to do this work with small groups if possible.  If you have never done it before try it out
                          with your smallest classes first.
                           
                          Cheers,

                          Diane


                           



                          http://www.ehow.com/about_6463316_plaster-paris-safety.html

                          I would strongly advise to research the safety issues. I had my kids wear old cloths, safety goggles, mask and thought I was on top of things...oops forgot the gloves and or cream...I think kids are just more hypersensitive now days. I am going to try it again this year but in smaller groups with gloves.

                          CA
                          Middle School

                          --- In art_education@yahoogroups.com, "Steph" <sphelos@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Hi there folks. I'm a new high school 3D Design teacher. With no budget, I have to use what I've got at the start of the year-- which is 4 large bags of plaster and a good bit of plaster. I have little experience with plaster, and I'm looking for some advice. My questions are:
                          >
                          > -How do you organize the class to use plaster?
                          > -What other materials would I need to work with plaster?
                          > -Cleaning hands?
                          > -What are some good high school plaster projects?
                          > -Any suggestions for smooth class transitions, safety, and class rules when using plaster?
                          >
                          > I read a lesson where the students would pour plaster into garbage bags and mold it in the bag until it sets. Has anyone tried this?
                          >
                          > Thanks in advance for your help! It's so very appreciated.
                          >
                          > Stephanie
                          >

                        • bindy
                          I ve used plaster every year with my students. here s my great ideas- Pre-plan. I get the regular plastic bags from grocery stores and add 1-2 cups of
                          Message 12 of 18 , Aug 29 6:49 PM
                          • 0 Attachment
                            I've used plaster every year with my students. here's my great ideas-
                            Pre-plan. I get the regular plastic bags from grocery stores and add 1-2 cups of plaster to them while I'm wearing a good dust mask before we start our projects. I keep them in a bucket and give a bag to each student when the time comes. they get in line that has containers, cut of milk jugs, short boxes, whatever the bags can be folded over. (be sure to check the bags pretty thoroughly for holes before adding plaster.) Then the go through the water line. They add the right amount of water for what we're doing- hard or soft- what's ever desired. If the students are afraid to get plaster on them, or have a known allergy to the stuff (usually we found this out year to year as I worked with a same students and they turned red and rashy after using it.) I get them to lather up with petroleum jelly. Nothing sticks to it, and it prevents allergic reactions.
                            Doing the mixing with some amounts allows me to get the kids through the line quickly, prevents dust (it's horrible stuff to breathe),a dn allows me to have more time to spend with the kids once they have gotten the plaster wet. They MUST get down into the cracks of the bag to get all the plaster and use it quickly. You'll have to help with this in my experience.
                            Some fun plaster projects- reverse casting
                            Creating a raised form with modeling clay inside of a box, and then pour in a plaster. Wait until hard, take plaster form out, cover sides with a tall tape- duct tape or shipping tape- then spray with Pam or other spray-on lubricant, mix more plaster, put it on the form and them -Voila!- you have a positive cast of your original sculpture.

                            You can also create single casts by "drawing" in wet sand, or using objects to create impressions, and then pouring the plaster gently over the sand. Get very fine sand if you're going to do this one.

                            Henry Moore, as so many people have said, but also Giacometti. Create a wire sculpture, and dip muslin cloth strips into a wet plaster; greater than average water to plaster ratio- and cover the sculpture.

                            Create plaster disc/plates and have the students paint them fresco style. If you get hexagonal plates you can create a mural with a classroom's worth of them.

                            Create a wacky sculpture of found objects and dip it into the wet plaster, creating a kind of unified look, sort of Louise Nevelson style, dry them, and then have the students paint them.

                            Have fun,
                            Brandy


                            --- In art_education@yahoogroups.com, "Steph" <sphelos@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Hi there folks. I'm a new high school 3D Design teacher. With no budget, I have to use what I've got at the start of the year-- which is 4 large bags of plaster and a good bit of plaster. I have little experience with plaster, and I'm looking for some advice. My questions are:
                            >
                            > -How do you organize the class to use plaster?
                            > -What other materials would I need to work with plaster?
                            > -Cleaning hands?
                            > -What are some good high school plaster projects?
                            > -Any suggestions for smooth class transitions, safety, and class rules when using plaster?
                            >
                            > I read a lesson where the students would pour plaster into garbage bags and mold it in the bag until it sets. Has anyone tried this?
                            >
                            > Thanks in advance for your help! It's so very appreciated.
                            >
                            > Stephanie
                            >
                          • Diane Gregory
                            Bindy, These are some great creative project ideas using plaster! I loved the idea about integrating and dipping found objects into plaster to create a
                            Message 13 of 18 , Aug 29 6:56 PM
                            • 0 Attachment

                               Bindy,

                              These are some great creative project ideas using plaster!  I loved the idea about integrating and dipping found objects into plaster to create a unified Nevelson look.  I can see a lot of different spin offs from this creative idea including putting plastered found objects into Nevelson or Cornell boxes.

                              Cheers,

                              Diane




                               

                              I've used plaster every year with my students. here's my great ideas-
                              Pre-plan. I get the regular plastic bags from grocery stores and add 1-2 cups of plaster to them while I'm wearing a good dust mask before we start our projects. I keep them in a bucket and give a bag to each student when the time comes. they get in line that has containers, cut of milk jugs, short boxes, whatever the bags can be folded over. (be sure to check the bags pretty thoroughly for holes before adding plaster.) Then the go through the water line. They add the right amount of water for what we're doing- hard or soft- what's ever desired. If the students are afraid to get plaster on them, or have a known allergy to the stuff (usually we found this out year to year as I worked with a same students and they turned red and rashy after using it.) I get them to lather up with petroleum jelly. Nothing sticks to it, and it prevents allergic reactions.
                              Doing the mixing with some amounts allows me to get the kids through the line quickly, prevents dust (it's horrible stuff to breathe),a dn allows me to have more time to spend with the kids once they have gotten the plaster wet. They MUST get down into the cracks of the bag to get all the plaster and use it quickly. You'll have to help with this in my experience.
                              Some fun plaster projects- reverse casting
                              Creating a raised form with modeling clay inside of a box, and then pour in a plaster. Wait until hard, take plaster form out, cover sides with a tall tape- duct tape or shipping tape- then spray with Pam or other spray-on lubricant, mix more plaster, put it on the form and them -Voila!- you have a positive cast of your original sculpture.

                              You can also create single casts by "drawing" in wet sand, or using objects to create impressions, and then pouring the plaster gently over the sand. Get very fine sand if you're going to do this one.

                              Henry Moore, as so many people have said, but also Giacometti. Create a wire sculpture, and dip muslin cloth strips into a wet plaster; greater than average water to plaster ratio- and cover the sculpture.

                              Create plaster disc/plates and have the students paint them fresco style. If you get hexagonal plates you can create a mural with a classroom's worth of them.

                              Create a wacky sculpture of found objects and dip it into the wet plaster, creating a kind of unified look, sort of Louise Nevelson style, dry them, and then have the students paint them.

                              Have fun,
                              Brandy


                              --- In art_education@yahoogroups.com, "Steph" <sphelos@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Hi there folks. I'm a new high school 3D Design teacher. With no budget, I have to use what I've got at the start of the year-- which is 4 large bags of plaster and a good bit of plaster. I have little experience with plaster, and I'm looking for some advice. My questions are:
                              >
                              > -How do you organize the class to use plaster?
                              > -What other materials would I need to work with plaster?
                              > -Cleaning hands?
                              > -What are some good high school plaster projects?
                              > -Any suggestions for smooth class transitions, safety, and class rules when using plaster?
                              >
                              > I read a lesson where the students would pour plaster into garbage bags and mold it in the bag until it sets. Has anyone tried this?
                              >
                              > Thanks in advance for your help! It's so very appreciated.
                              >
                              > Stephanie
                              >

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