“Plaster project. Seems easy enough,” was my initial thought. HA! It was a struggle from the moment I woke up and went over to get ready at his place. We were an hour and a half late and we had no idea what we were supposed to do. (At least parking wasn’t that difficult to find.)
The process seemed simple enough: dig a hole for your limb, insert limb, use wet sand to pack & cover limb (I totally forgot about wetting the sand), remove limb carefully, mix plaster, pour into mold, and wait for mold to set.
The initial digging was fine, it was coming along decently (minus having to ask a couple of questions & peeking at classmates’ molds & processes) and I had completed two molds. I was mixing the plaster when I looked over to see the boyfriend (let’s call him Brian) pouring sand into one of my molds. I start freaking out and ask, “WhAT are you doing?
To which he replies, “I’m pouring sand in so that you can form your mold.”
I.. I was speechless. I look at my finally smooth plaster, at the ruined mold, back to my plaster, and sigh. At least I still had another mold, right?
I tell Brian to mix the plaster while I try to fix the second mold, which proved to be a mistake because Brian had a very “it’s not my project, not my class, I don’t really care what happens” attitude. So, he mixed the plaster very halfheartedly and also didn’t tell me the plaster was hardening until it was too late.
Chunks of plaster had started to form. I start to panic more and tell him to hurry and get water so I can attempt to revive the plaster. What does this child do? Walk. Walk very slowly to the water with the plaster carton in one hand and my [very expensive] camera in the other.
(By this time, I’m very upset because the day hasn’t been going too well and the project was slowly coming apart.)
He finally gets back with water in hand (and camera safe, albeit his complaints that his pants got wet. Who wears jeans to the beach?) and I pour it into the bucket, frantically trying to revive whatever I could.
Instead, I ended up making it worse. OTL The plaster had created more chunks and refused to cooperate.
I’m doing my best to hold back frustrated tears when Brian asks if he should ask the professor what to do. I just slowly nod, refusing to look up, and let people around me see that I am a sad potato.
He comes back and tells me that I pretty much have to make do with what I have, that as long as a finger or something comes out, it’ll be fine. About the plaster, to use whatever liquid form there is left.
So, I mentally prepare myself, calm down, and move towards the first mold I had. I slowly pour the plaster into the mold, trying not to get any sand in. I put in every last drop of plaster I can get and then start the waiting process, which varied from 30 minutes to an hour (or two).
Me, being the impatient, not very smart child that I am, decides to check the plaster after 30 or 40 minutes. “Still not settled, I see. But you know what would maybe help it set? Trying to remove the sand on top of the mold!” I grab the shovel and carefully try to scoop the top layer of sand off. Which to my demise, collapsed.
Well, that’s just swell.
I feel my eyes watering and a tear- a single tear- drop. I’m dumbfounded. What was I supposed to do? There wasn’t much time left and I had no plaster left and I had just ruined my remaining mold.
The boyfriend interrupts my self-condemning thoughts with “let’s just try to salvage what we can” or something along those lines. I, already accepting defeat, grab the shovel and try to dig out what I can of the plaster.
Slowly, but surely, I can see a vague hand. I grab the little paint brush and try to brush off whatever sand I could. Carefully, of course. I felt like a paleontologist on an excavation.
Do you know why? (Of course you don’t, but let me tell you.) My plaster had come out looking like a fossil. It had ended up breaking apart due to rough handling (despite all efforts to carefully save it).
Look at this.
I mean, come on.
I sighed and accepted that it was better than nothing. I had tried. I really did. But it just hadn’t been my day. Brian felt extremely annoyed/guilty, as well, saying things like “I just won’t come with you to your next project.” Or, he’d been saying that since after the plaster had began to harden. (But, trust me. I will make him come with. HA)
All in all, the project hadn’t gone as I had envisioned it to, but I had learned the importance of communication and that things don’t always go as planned. (And that bad things happen to good people. Just kidding.) I ended up with a fossilized plaster mold and very irritated/itchy knees and feet (darn you, beach sand allergies), but it was better than nothing (though, I probably could’ve done without the allergic reactions. No sunburn though, so there’s that).
Here’s to hoping the peace sign fossil is acceptable and that this first blog post is okay.