BOTANICAL PLASTER CASTING
Create elegant botanical plaster reliefs and discover the ancient sculptural technique of plaster casting. Also known as ‘bas-relief’ or ‘low relief,’ plaster casting has been used since antiquity in many forms, for both artistic and academic endeavors. “The raised effect is achieved by carving or impressing your subject into soft clay, and then filling the vacancy left with liquid plaster,” explains Liz Wagner, our teacher, and Creative Lead for The Crafter’s Box. In this workshop, Liz shares how to work with modeling clay, create a mold, and use Plaster of Paris to make delicate décor for the home.
Our carefully curated kit contains everything needed to create 8-10 botanical plaster casts, including safety goggles, disposable gloves, and a protective sheet. An acrylic clay roller creates a smooth modeling clay surface while tweezers and a detail paint brush help to remove any leftover bits of florals or dried clay.
Liz shares how to design our botanical arrangements, condition, and roll out the clay, create a mold using card stock and binder clips, and safely work with Plaster of Paris. Along the way, we learn tips for successful prints, troubleshooting, the ideal Plaster of Paris formula, unmolding, and finishing our casts. After completing the workshop, the possibilities are endless for creative mold building. “You can go large-scale, you can add colorful details with watercolors or gold leaf, you can even mix pigment into your plaster to create contrast between the subject and the background,” says Liz.
The Curated Kit of Tools & Materials
This workshop includes:
- A detailed digital workshop led by Liz Wagner
- A live Maker Chat Q&A for our community to join in on a creative conversation with the artist
- Tools & materials to create a dozen medium sized botanical plaster casts
- PDF download with written instructions to complement the video tutorial
The tools & materials included in this workshop:
- White modeling clay
- Plaster of Paris
- One round detail paint brush
- Two sheets sandpaper, 120 grit
- Acrylic clay roller
- Four pairs of disposable gloves
- Protective sheet
- Safely goggles
- Stainless steel craft tweezers
- Four binder clips
- Three sheets heavyweight cardstock
Materials to have at home:
- Kitchen knife
- Florals or botanicals of various types
- Craft bucket or disposable bowl
- Cutting board
- Large book
- Matchsticks or toothpicks
More About Our Artist: Liz Wagner, Creative Lead for The Crafter's Box
Liz Wagner is a life-long creative with a passion for natural materials and the beauty of the natural world. As Creative Lead for The Crafter’s Box, she finds joy in communing with fellow creatives—both in the The Crafter's Box Community and interaction with The Crafter’s Box Artists. Liz has always held a deep appreciation for the Wabi-Sabi quality of handmade beauty and finds great value in exploring time-tested processes.
Liz lives in beautiful Encinitas, California with her family of seven. When she's not at work developing productions for The Crafter's Box, she's exploring additional crafts for fun. She finds inspiration in silence and in the quiet, patient things that grow outside her front door and in the wider world.
We’re so excited to have you join us, Liz.
Materials for More Exploration:
Additional Modeling Clay and Plaster of Paris
Create more plaster cast art with an additional pound of white modeling clay and four pounds of Plaster of Paris. The oil-based modeling compound is non-toxic and can be used over and over, remaining pliable.
Maple Backer Board Set
Display your botanical plaster casts on a set of three maple backer boards, handmade by the San Diego husband and wife woodworking team, Jeff and Cherie Kirschenman. The set also includes a tube of adhesive for easy mounting.
Share with us! We look forward to sharing this fulfilling and joyful experience with you and cannot wait to see how your botanical plaster casts turn out.
Be sure to share your creative journey and finished creation with us by tagging @thecraftersbox in your social posts, and use #thecraftersbox so our community
can also see your workshop come to life. Happy making!