I make my own clay, so I needed to make a
plaster bat to help me out with the drying process since it’s great at absorbing water.
In this video, so i will share with you my quick and easy way to make your own! The main principles
of this method can be applied to all kinds of plaster casting so Let’s get straight into
it! First, I started out by finding a mold that would suit my purposes- a large plastic
flower pot bottom was perfect for this. I began by rubbing vaseline all over it to act
as a mold release- you don’t need to put too much just enough to coat it and make sure
to get the sides! When mixing plaster its important to put it in the water and not the
other way round- i eyeballed how much water i would need and poured it into an empty paint
bucket.I eveyball pretty much everything I do and it’s a big Nono but so far so good.
Anyways, Hot water will make the plaster set faster whilst cold water will take longer-
so i opted into using cold water to give me a longer working time. I should mention that
the plaster that I’m using is quite old and somewhat clumpy- i found a big bag of
it in the shed and i would not recommend using it for any nice projects but since this isn’t
precious and i wanted to keep this cheap, easy and quick – so it will do just fine.
I added the plaster to the water in handfuls by sprinkling it evenly over the surface – i
should add that you should most probably wear gloves when you do this because I’m too
reckless with my safety- also you probably shouldn’t wear anything on your wrists- i
keep repeating this step until little ‘peaks’ or ‘plaster islands’ start forming. When the
plaster starts reaching the top of the water and creates a ‘dry earth’ cracking effect
if you can see it, it is ready to be mixed. I like to mix using my hands- rubbing the
plaster and water mix between my hands to break up clumps and homogenize the mixture.
I feel like it doesn’t introduce a lot of bubbles. Again this is a safety gray zone.
When the plaster feels sufficiently mixed its ready to be poured into the greased mold.
After pouring i shook the mold a little bit so as to create a nice even surface and i
tapped it to release the air bubbles – again if this was for a sculpture or a precious
project i would tap for much longer and use a better quality plaster. Now leave the casting
to cure and dry for a few hours till its ready for demolding!To demold just flip the casting
over a soft cloth- here I’m using a a soft door mat and with one tap the casting comes
out very easily. For my purpose of drying clay – i will leave it out to dry completely
this may take from a few days up to a week depending on the weather. Ill also hit the
edges with a rasp to eliminate the sharp edge- this step it totally optional. Now that the
plaster bat is dry its ready for use! When i use the bat i place a cloth barrier
between the clay and the plaster so that the clay does not become contaminated by it. Adding
the cloth also makes the clay a lot easier to flip as it is drying. If you’d like see
different methods for drying clay I got you covered because I did a video for three different
methods to do just that. I hope you found this useful and if you have any questions
or suggestions please leave them in the comments section. Thanks for watching!