Activity – Week #1

Fun with plaster!

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It would have been great to spend a couple of hours at the beach doing this activity but it didn’t fit my schedule. I was able to make an interesting cast of my hand using a box of plaster and some things I had in my garage. The process started by placing my hand inside a bag of top soil. Water was then poured around my hand so that the top soil would get sticker and hold its shape better.

The plaster was mixed in a small plastic bucket. The plaster was then gently poured into the mold of my hand. At this point I allowed the plaster to set for one hour. Once the plaster was hard the cast was removed from the bag.

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At this point I was worried that the top soil was too porous and that my hand might not be visible.

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Next I cautiously began clearing away the excess dirt with a wire brush. A garden hose was then used to wash away the fine dirt.

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The final result is a nicely defined hand with some interesting rock and twig imprints from the soil.

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Using a finer grain material to make the cast would have produced a cleaner looking mold. The benefit of using soil is that the soil clumps together easier. The soil is much more porous than wet sand would be. This caused the fingers to run together. If I could repeat this project I would have used sand. With sand you would need to be very careful to use the correct consistency of sand so that the mold holds together while you are pouring the plaster.

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