Proper Plaster Cast Mixing to Avoid Bubbles and Cracks

Blog |October 1st, 2018

Plaster is a wonderful medium to work with, but it requires often meticulous processes to ensure that the end-result is as flawless as can be. This often necessitates careful and thorough mixing in order to prevent the accidental or undesirable formation of air bubbles, which are the primary causes of unwanted hairline fractures, eventual cracking, and weakening of the overall structural integrity of a plaster piece.

In the old days, plaster was laboriously mixed by hand, often in small batches, to ensure uniformity all throughout. Larger batches that were employed for big pieces, such as statuary, often involved a painstaking mixing process in large vats that would have needed the help of several people.

With the introduction of machinery, mixing large amounts of plaster became much easier, although the use of plaster for home décor and other artistic mediums did not last. It is only in recent years that a renewed interest in plaster has come about, predominantly because people are hankering for a return to a more ostentatious or elegant mode of interior décor.

Plaster offers a myriad of advantages that modern materials like plastics do not, while simultaneously being able to imitate many of its innate properties. In order for this to be possible, plaster has to be properly formulated, measured, and mixed.

Here are just some of the reasons why proper plaster cast mixing to avoid bubbles and cracks is important:

  • Smoothness of the plaster – properly mixing plaster, preferably with the aid of a rotary mixer or industrial-grade stand mixer, helps to ensure that the resulting mixture is smooth and free of bubbles. This guarantees perfect casting, without cracks, with less waste and almost consistently flawless results.
  • Adds structural integrity – well-mixed plaster is tough and long-lasting, primarily because it does not have any air bubbles or minute hairline cracks that may compromise the solidity of the piece. This is especially important for slip-cast plaster, which will require added durability due to its free-standing nature.
  • Helps to make the item lighter – thoroughly mixing plaster helps to partially aerate the slurry, making the entire slip-cast piece lighter, without sacrificing its overall structural integrity. It also helps to get rid of unwanted chunks of un-dissolved plaster that may bulk up a slip-cast or moulded piece, adding unnecessary bulk and an unsightly mar to it.

If you’re looking for experts in plaster moulding, casting, and design, or you are just after a great resource for classic interior décor with the convenience and efficiency of modernity, come visit us here at Hopkins Plaster Studio.

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