I’ve been experimenting with different ways to finish some of my plaster pieces/pours. It’s tough for me though, because I love the flat plaster in it’s natural state. Adding finishes and colors and textures just seems wrong in some way. It changes the feel of the piece, the look of the stark white color, and even the cool temperature to the touch. But yet at the same time it is exciting and fun to experiment with all of these different materials and to see how the chemicals of each begin to react with the next. Some have been huge disappointments while others have been great discoveries. About a month ago I sent off a whole set of my pieces to a chemical company out in CA, called SurFin Chemicals. And this is what I received back:
Not thrilled by the finished product. at all. The chemical properties of the finishes/stains are originally designed for metals but I was hoping they would translate well to the plaster. Not so much. The coloration and sheen make the pieces appear more resin-like than the actual true plaster. I’ve been using some wood stains and sealants as well and the clear sealants are the best I’ve found yet to actually seal off the plaster and stop the chemical make-up from “breathing” and interacting with the surrounding oxygen and carbon…but these sealants still give either a glossy finish or almost a satin sheen to the flat white plaster.
Another route I’ve been experimenting with is the leafing processes. I’ve copper-leafed and silver-leafed a few pieces. And these I prefer due to the fact that these are true copper and silver elements. Beautiful finishes yet they are extremely flashy. I imagine I would like the finishes once I have distressed the pieces through different means. The images below are of a piece that has been gold-leafed using 24k gold:
And of course, I will always favor the original look of the true plaster finish. No glitz, glam, or shimmer to fancy it up. Just the true original material being showcased. Here are a few little fun ornaments I’ve been making for a boutique store in town: