I created Plaster of Paris molds and Sunprints at the International House with moms and children in July. We worked outside to cut down on the mess. I brought in seashells, daisies, ferns and nuts and bolts. For each project, we used the following processes.


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Lay out objects, such as leaves, flowers, nuts and bolts and lace on the blue Sunprint paper in the sun, wait 2-5 minutes till paper lightens and creates a quick print.

Rinse the paper under cold water to set the print.

Let dry. Flatten paper under heavy books to take wrinkles out.

Plaster of Paris

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Mix up the plaster.

Pour about one inch of plaster into a small Styrofoam meat tray.

Let the plaster set until almost dry, about 20 minutes.

Place daisies, seashells, nuts, bolts, or whatever you’d like into the plaster (texture side down).

Wait for the plaster to harden, for about 20 minutes.

Pull the objects out of the plaster or use a small knife to remove them.

I like the idea of working with natural and man-made objects, but I have to say the natural objects looked more beautiful. Making successful plaster reliefs was hit or miss. It was fraught with more problems than making a good lemon meringue pie! But when it works, the results are beautiful.