Today was fun as I got to dabble around with Clay and Plaster of Paris, as well as Powder Paints, which was fascinating!
I’ve made sprig moulds before for a college project roughly around 3 years ago, so it was a great recap today to be able to go through this technique again, only with better materials and resources.
I started off with a lump of clay, that was placed on a Ceramics mat. Jon had handed out plastic A5 templates, as that was the size we were making our moulds too. I placed the template against the clay and used a rolling pin to get the accurate size. Using a small knife, I cut the excess off and removed the template.
Once I put the excess aside, I used two wooden blocks to press against the sides of my clay to keep the size and shape, whilst I continued to roll it out, to create a certain depth and smoothness. When I was content with the size of my clay, I removed the blocks and used talcum powder on my hand, as that was the object I wanted to imprint into the clay and the talc made it easier to remove an object from the clay without damaging the imprint. I decided to do both my left and right hands, that were in different positions.
Once I was happy with whatever imprint I wanted, I gently lifted it from the mat and placed it onto a Ceramics board, where I was ready to prep it for the Plaster mould making. To do this, I had to use plastic boards, that were gently pressed into the sides of my clay, and using the excess clay from earlier, I had to fill in the gaps between the joinings, to prevent the plaster from leaking out onto the board. It ended up looking a little like this.
For my right hand print, I decided to put a sprinkle of Bright Red Powder Paint into the imprint, before mixing up my Plaster mix of white Plaster, Bright Red and Ochre Powder Paints.
Once I was satisfied with what I wanted to do, I started to pour my mix over the top of the clay and I am now waiting for the grand reveal of both my handprints, as well as my fingerprints. I chose to do this, because I want to work with Gender Identity in my work and I wanted to visually communicate the difference between men and women’s hands. I had thought about asking a male and female person in my class to kindly imprint their hand for me but I felt a little awkward and shy to do so.
I cannot wait to get into my workspace tomorrow before my Workshop with Martin to peal away the clay and see what my 3D Reliefs look like. I will no doubt post another blog tomorrow about my outcomes! I can’t wait.