Plaster

A mixture of lime, sand and water. When used for sculpture, plaster can be used to make mould-making and casts or initial small-scale or full-scale models. Plaster of Paris (also called gesso) is made by heating gypsum and then crushing it to a fine powder, which when mixed with water, sets to a hard brittle solid. It is relatively cheap, fine-textured, easily mixed and quick-setting. Ideal mould-making material, it flows easily into gaps and during the process of drying expands slightly, forcing the plaster into the finer details of the mould.

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John Colet, by Pietro Torrigiano, circa 1518 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

John Colet
by Pietro Torrigiano
circa 1518
NPG 4823

Mary, Queen of Scots, after Cornelius and William Cure, (circa 1606-1616) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Mary, Queen of Scots
after Cornelius and William Cure
(circa 1606-1616)
NPG 307a

John Milton, by Horace Montford, after a bust attributed to  Edward Pearce, (circa 1660) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

John Milton
by Horace Montford, after a bust attributed to Edward Pearce
(circa 1660)
NPG 1396

Joseph Collet, by Amoy Chinqua, 1716 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Joseph Collet
by Amoy Chinqua
1716
NPG 4005

James Wolfe, by Joseph Wilton, circa 1760 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

James Wolfe
by Joseph Wilton
circa 1760
NPG 4415

John Keats, by Benjamin Robert Haydon, 1816 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

John Keats
by Benjamin Robert Haydon
1816
NPG 686

Richard Beadon, by Lucius Gahagan, 1823 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Richard Beadon
by Lucius Gahagan
1823
NPG 4901

Edward William Lane, by Richard James Lane, 1829 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Edward William Lane
by Richard James Lane
1829
NPG 940

Sir (Francis) Osbert Sacheverell Sitwell, 5th Bt, by Frank Owen Dobson, 1994 (1922) - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir (Francis) Osbert Sacheverell Sitwell, 5th Bt
by Frank Owen Dobson
1994 (1922)
NPG 6320

Henryk Gotlib, by Henryk Gotlib, circa 1942 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Henryk Gotlib
by Henryk Gotlib
circa 1942
NPG 6642

T.S. Eliot, by Sir Jacob Epstein, 1951 - NPG  - Photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

T.S. Eliot
by Sir Jacob Epstein
1951
NPG 4440

Sir Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi (

Sir Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi ('The Artist as Hephaestus')
by Sir Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi
1987
NPG 6097

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