There are some crafts that require an artistic flair – for color, texture or competency with a technique. There are others that you just simply follow instructions and do, yet are rewarded with a beautiful piece. Décor from molds fit the latter. When I’ve seen “ugly” pieces – it’s always that they were simply overdone. Less can be so much more with paint. I’m a fan of straight spray paint or spray paint then antique coating or shading – nothing more.
Plaster is normally only used for inside pieces, but I’ve done items, sprayed three coats of acrylic sealer on all sides and left them outside for more than 5 years before I tossed in desire of something new. This was in my old location that didn’t freeze, but did pretty much have rain with constant dampness from December through March. The items were also not directly on the ground. Right now I have a sealed plaster Greenman, tiles and Greenlady on my porch although we’re into the ‘storms a few times/week’ mode.
For my new home I’d chosen an Egyptian theme for my office in honor of some papyrus and a plaster tile I’d brought back from a trip there. A current search for plaster molds yields 1,100+ plaster and cement molds on ebay. The molds I’m showing were from Queen of Crete, but I haven’t seen her offering items for the last year or so.
I mentioned eHow’s instructions here and there are a multitude of videos on how to mix plaster to help you out. Regular Plaster of Paris works fine – some sculptures may go up a notch although I have not found the need. Main tips are to be sure your mold is on a level surface before you begin and tap it once you pour your plaster in. When I have larger items, I cut a piece of plastic screen or some muslin in press it into the back of the piece lightly (don’t want bits to scrape what will be the front of the piece). The ones here are all displayed on plate holders – to hang on a wall, balance a small dowel across the back of your mold after you’ve poured the plaster in and lay a wire hook on that towards the top of the piece (the hook would simply sink without the dowel to keep it in place).
Plaster is not indestructible. In the past 10 years I’ve had 2 pieces break when knocked over – so I’m pretty happy with my track record.
I actually think it would be faster to just pour a new one of Hathor (above) then try to glue this one. They were all allowed to thoroughly dry, then painted with a Rustoleum Metallic spray paint. So simple. So fast. Yet everyone who has seen them has always commented and assumed I’d picked them up in Egypt. I get to pick the color and the copper was so perfect for the mood and décor in the office. If you’ve been afraid of plaster – just pick up a small bag at the hardware store, get a mold and give it a go. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.