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Project#10 Plaster relief

Wednesday, 12 March 2008 by Irene Hoofs

…this project explores relief with found objects.  You can create a picture or simply create a collage image.  This is a wonderful project for birthday parties.

What you will need:
*used drink boxes – plus straw
*large yogurt container
*wire for hanging hook
*found objects – toys, blocks, sea shells, buttons or anything you don’t mind getting clay on
*rough sand paper to clean edges
step one:
..cut out one side of the drink boxes – I put two boxes together to have a larger surface
step two:
..press clay half way into the bottom of the drink boxes
step three:
..press the found objects into the clay and keep in mind if your writing names or messages to do it backwards.  Make sure to remove the objects before the next step
step four:
..mix the plaster in a yogurt container – begin with putting warm water in the container – enough water to fill in the space on top of the clay.  Mix the plaster till it’s the same consistency as yogurt – if you pour it in when it’s a bit watery it will take a long time to harden – once your plaster is ready pour the mixture to the top of the drink boxes.  You should give the whole drink box a few taps till you see air bubbles come to the surface – this way your impressions will come out nicely.  Place a wire hook on the back using the straw to hold it up so it doesn’t sink
step five:
..how do you know when it’s ready? Make sure the surface of the plaster is not damp and it’s a bit hot and hard and that’s when it’s ready for the reveal – this usually takes between 10-15 minutes depending on how thick your plaster mixture is.
step six: 
..firstly remove the sides of the drink box and carefully peel off the clay - once all the clay is removed you can rinse the plaster under water.  I like to leave some remnants of the stain of the clay  for a patina.  Once the plaster is completely dry you can use the sandpaper to clean up any rough edges.

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