Bronze Look for Plaster

Q: I know there is a process to make plaster objects look like bronze. How is it done?

Cast Concrete Sculpture

Q: How do you go about making concrete sculpture like the kind you can buy for your garden?

Cast Marble

Q: How does one go about making sculpture in “cast marble” or “bonded marble?”

Alternative Casting Materials

Q: I would like to cast something into molds (besides plaster of Paris) that would end up looking like white marble. Should I use polyester resin or what?

Concrete—How to Use It?

Q: I am casting simple forms in concrete, mostly using holes in the ground for molds, and I’m looking for ways to generate different interesting forms and surfaces. Any ideas?

Concrete Textures

Q: I’m interested in experimenting with concrete to get different surface effects than the usual boring cast concrete look. Any suggestions?

Direct Concrete without Casting

Q: How could I make sculpture directly in concrete, without having to go through modeling a form, making a mold, and casting the concrete?

Forton MG Plaster

Q: What is this Forton MG plaster you mentioned, and where do you get it?

Cheapest Mold Material for Clay Models

Q: I’m making models in clay that have lots of undercuts, and would like to take molds of them so I can make permanent sculptures in plaster or polyester resin. What is the cheapest thing I can use that won’t tear up the originals too badly?

Making Pictorial Mosaics

Q: How would I go about making mosaics like the Ancient Romans did?

Mosaic-surfaced Stepping Stones

Q: I want to make some concrete stepping stones with a mosaic surface. What kind of mold, concrete/aggregate mix, and setting technique should I use?

Smooth Surfaces in Plastiline Clay

Q: I want to make a small sculpture in plastiline (oil-based) clay. I want to create extremely smooth flowing curves, with no tooling marks. What is the best way to achieve this result?

Air Bubbles in Plaster

Q: When I cast plaster into a rubber mold, how can I prevent bubbles from sticking to the mould and making holes in the casting?

Foundations for Sculpture

Q: I’ve made some large sculptures, and I want to site them outdoors. Do I need to make a foundation for each one? That seems like it would be astronomically expensive. Do I have to bury part of the piece in the concrete while it’s wet?


Q: Where can I find information on life-casting? What are the best materials to use? What about plaster bandages, do they work?

Plaster Modeling

Q: Can I model directly in plaster of Paris, or do I have to make a mold?

Molding My Own Face

Q: I want to make a mold of my face, but I don’t know how. Do you use plaster?

The Plaster FAQ—Working With Plaster

Christopher Pardell gives detailed instructions on how to mix and use this versatile material, with advice on plaster mold-making, casting, and direct tooling. The article covers the following topics: plaster defined, its qualities, various uses, flexible molds, different types, modifications, investment, storage, hazards, water bubbles, air bubbles, tooling, mixing containers, mixers, industrial techniques, mixing by hand, influencing set time, reinforcements, use in sculpture, mold casings, fractioning the batch, cautionary notes, waste molds, separating sections, using shellac, adding on, fixing holes, slosh-casting, handling large molds, tempering and drying, tools, and last tips.

The Latex and Urethane FAQ—Casting Positive Forms in Latex and Urethane

Christopher Pardell goes over the steps taken by FX artists to create flexible objects which can be painted. This article covers the following topics: uses of rubber parts, plaster molds, thin latex castings, painting latex, foam latex, latex and urethane foam, self-skinning urethane foam, painting urethane rubber, urethane’s characteristics, and safety notes.

The Concrete FAQ—Concrete Casting

Dan Spector reveals the secrets for successful concrete castings using this versatile and inexpensive material. This article covers the following topics: concrete defined, Portland cement, aggregate mix, cement proportions, water content, rock size and molds, drypacking, mixing, additives and special mixes, use of rebar, surfactants and vibrators, hardening and curing, tinting and washing, decorative treatments, staining and painting.

The Clay FAQ—Water-based Potter’s Clay and its use in Sculpture

Andrew Werby tells how ordinary water-based clay can be used to create permanent fired sculpture, as well as its use for making models for production in other materials. This article covers the following topics: clay defined, direct and indirect use, waste molds, natural clay, reusing clay, handworking clay, plaster and clay, joining clay forms, firing, slipcasting, making slip, modifying clay bodies, building hollow forms, freeze/thaw problems, armatures, accelerated drying, and surface treatments.

The Wax FAQ—Sculpting in Wax

Andrew Werby covers the use of wax in sculpture, including the types used, direct construction techniques, casting, welding and smoothing. This article covers the following topics: sculpting waxes, carving wax, casting slabs, melting, handworking and tools, lost wax, armatures and addtitions.