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The Arts of Natural Plasters
September 18, 2023 - September 29, 2023
Instructors: Athena Steen, Michael G. Smith, Viva Hansen and Blair Phillips
Want a deep immersion into the Natural Plaster rabbit hole?
In this two-week course, you will learn from facilatators with over 70 years of combined experience. The workshop is appropriate both for beginners and for experienced builders who are ready to take their plastering skills to the next level. We will start with the basics of how to source and identify appropriate materials and understand how they work together in a sucessful plaster mix. Learn to mix plasters by hand and using machines including hand-held and rotary mortar mixers. You will get hands-on experience with applying every layer of plaster from base to finish plasters and natural paints. This workshop will have a special emphasis on proper tool selection, care and usage.
Some of the many finishing techniques you will learn include:
• Straw-clay base coats for wall shaping and protection
• Earthen finish plasters using both wild and purchased clays
• Lime-sand base, scratch and finish coats
• The alchemy of lime-earth combinations
• How to develop and test your own plaster recipes
• How to prepare every kinds of wall surface to receive natural plaster
• Simple, durable clay paints you can make yourself
• Low-relief and high-relief sculpting techniques
• Lime fresco for murals that will never fade
• Sgraffito: the art of carving through multiple layers of colored plasters
Daily hands-on plastering sessions will be supplemented with lectures on theoretical background and critical design considerations to make your plasters into durable, crack-free works of functional art. Additionally, we will take you on a trip through space and time with slideshows showing the arts of plasters from all around the world. Camping is included and all meals are prepared for you with food grown on site or locally sourced with your optimal health in mind. Families are welcome. Inquire for kiddo participation.