Wk 4 – Activity – Plaster Casting

One the main reasons I enjoy this art class is the fact that it wants us to make the activities an artistic experience and have us experiment with different media. The instructions this week were to go to the beach and make a plaster cast mold of our hand or foot, suspiciously a ploy to get us students off our lazy butts and get outside for the day. I’m glad I did though because it led to a fun activity I wouldn’t otherwise participate in and an overall great day with friends. It started in the morning with the plan to meet my friends Andy, Michelle, and Amir at Redondo Beach.

After some confusion with finding parking and then finding each other, we finally walked onto the beach, picked a spot and got to work. We had plaster, shovels and a bucket but in retrospect we could have picked up another bucket and something better to mix with than the back of the shovel. We made due regardless and got work on making the holes first. Then we each went through the process of putting our hands into the holes and having someone else fill it back up. We all went for different formations with our hands (I went for Spock’s trademark Vulcan Salute), but all pretty much ran into the same problem. When removing our hands from the hole, our hands were all bigger than our wrists which we were skeptical would ruin the molds.

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We decided to keep powering through the activity because we were having fun, and we wanted to mix the plaster. It wasn’t easy to get the correct levels of water and plaster after all but we got close enough after two or three adjustments. We poured the plaster into the holes and then started started to play our 40 minute waiting game. Luckily it was a fairly nice day at the beach and good friends make time fly. On the flipside, considering my friends, we all had trouble making sure not to step on each other’s molds, so we had to draw circles around them and mark them with pieces of seaweed.

Unfortunately the molds themselves didn’t really turn out the way we wanted. Our fear was correct and dragging our hands out of the mold caused them to all turn into logs and look roughly the same. However I still don’t see the activity as a failure. We got out of the house, tried something new, and honestly we may do it again in the future because it was legitimately fun and we have some prior experience and knowledge now. Furthermore, I don’t even mind the ploy to get me out of my house because after the project, Andy and I were inspired to go on a pretty awesome hike in Palos Verdes. And as far as the deeper artistic meaning here, I think this goes to show you that art doesn’t need to be so disciplined like a regular art appreciation class might lead you to think. It can be as informal and intuitive as hanging out at the beach with friends.

Check out Andy, Michelle, and Amir’s blogs here:




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