Sculpture: Plaster Assignment

Our first assignment for sculpture was based around the material of plaster and our manipulation of it in several projects.

The first project was a leaf cast, to get us used to mixing plaster and the way it behaves, from and thin detailed mould to a thicker paste that can be smothered on.

Our second project bought us to the largest portion of the assignment: a plaster head. The challenge was to transform the plaster head using clay and a variety of other materials. This project allowed a further experimentation with plaster, pushing our thoughts of its capabilities. With no set instructions, it was interesting to see where instincts lead the projects, and the found materials that influenced it.

The third project was an alginate mould and cast. After previous alginate experience, I felt relatively comfortable with what was needed. As I had previously completed a hand, I decided to turn towards a foot mould and cast, allowing to see a different perspective of my own toes.

A fourth project was that of a relief cast, and pushing objects into clay before pouring plaster. This project allowed us to view the detail that plaster was able to pick up, especially with just clay as the base of the mould.

A final plaster project for the assignment was based on a two-part mould. This mould allowed us to see the strength of the plaster, and how far we could take it outside of this particular project. There was several difficulties during the mould and cast for this, however it was rectified to make a good set of casts.

A sketchbook accompanied these five projects, showcasing the steps for each plaster project, along with ideas, artists and sketches of final works.

We were able to choose the display for the set of projects for the plaster assignment. I felt that displaying on a table allowed viewers to interact, and travel around the piece, seeing detail from all sides. I positioned the smaller items on small plain tiles that were found in the department, off-setting the areas from a worktable to a display area. I felt that the design of the display worked well, and was able to showcase all the pieces. If I were to display again, I would have liked to have chosen a cleaner area with more natural light to showcase the delicacies of each plaster project I completed.

Once a group critique was completed, we were able to display our plaster heads in a public area of the university. All the pieces were positioned in two areas. As each piece was displayed on different bases, there was a variety of natural heights that the heads sat at, ensuring the eye travelled between them. I thought that the display of them tied in very successfully with each other, and with other artwork that was preexisting in the room.

Overall, I feel that these projects were completed successfully, and I was able to follow the guidelines, without setting rules. Throughout each project, I felt very at ease not necessarily knowing what I was doing every step of the way, and this was refreshing. I believe that because I felt refreshed, I was able to create some successful works.

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