Before Spring Break, some of the children had the opportunity to work with Plaster of Paris. A few more children had the opportunity to mix plaster and make a very special collage for Isabelle's birthday gift. Mixing the plaster and making collages with various materials was an exciting experience and we wanted to ensure that every child had the opportunity, so we brought the experience into the Brown Room's studio after the week away.
Mixing the Plaster
Karen: When we mix plaster friends, we need to make sure that we are wearing our dust masks. We need to have 2 cans of Plaster of Paris for each can of water, so let’s get our materials together.
Ellie: I do another scoop.
Win: Another scoop.
Ellie: I having fun, Karen. It so much fun scooping (Plaster of Paris). It look like wet clay.
Karen: Since that the plaster is wet now and not dusty anymore, we can take off our dust masks. Now we are going to choose our materials for our collages. We have this whole tray of materials, but we want to choose one at a time and be very thoughtful about what we choose to make our design.
Each day, we had to mix new plaster.
Ford: It’s turning white.
Elena: Is it changing colors like you thought it would?
Emma: Wow, it's coming white!
Ford (in the studio): If you’re not wearing a dust mask like me you have to be in the classroom.
Adding the second can of Plaster of Paris...
Ford: Maybe that one will also turn white! It’s disappearing!
Emma: It’s disappearing, it’s melting. Just like a snow monster does. Just like a snow monster melts. It’s disappearing!
Elena: Where is it disappearing to?
Ford pointing to the mountains of plaster: Here and here and here and here. Look at the water!
Emma: What’s happening to the plaster?
Ford: It’s different colors.
Emma: It’s getting all melty.
Ford: Why we gonna do both (cans)?
Emma: It’s like a powder.
Ford: It has like a lot of different water.
Creating our Plaster Collages
The children had a variety of materials from Tucker Closet to choose from to design their collages. As they perused the materials and began placing them in their trays of plaster, they shared their thoughts.
Emma: I like this (blue tile). I like this (bead from the materials tray). I like this seashell like the beach. This Elena, I like this (jewelry hook).
Ellie: I choose this one (red ball) and put it here. I push it in. Look I push it.
Win: Look I push it.
Ellie: Look I put that in. I choose because I like it.
Louisa carefully chose her materials. When she was satisfied with her selection of materials and her placement of the materials in the plaster, she declared, "I’m done."
As Isabelle created her design in the plaster, she narrated her process: It has to go in there and in here.
Emma: Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. I wanna put this (bead) in here (plaster). Mix it with together. Mix it, Elena.
Ford: Where’s mine?
Emma: You take materials and put it in the plaster.
Ford: Ahhh! It (the material) disappeared!
Emma: I can put this in. I can put this in, Elena
Ford: Ahhh, look when I do this. Look (the material sank to the bottom of the plaster)! Uh oh! I got it on my finger!
Emma: I’m getting my hands all dirty, it's like soap. I like this (tile), Elena. I’m rubbing it like soap (referring to the plaster on her hands).
Ford: You just do like that. Just pour it and then use this (tile). I covered everything!