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Relief Sculpture: Drywall

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Presentation on theme: "Relief Sculpture: Drywall"— Presentation transcript:

1 Relief Sculpture: Drywall

2 What does relief mean?

3 How has relief sculpture been used historically?


5 How do contemporary artists use relief techniques?

6 Materials Drywall. (12"x12" or smaller) 1” Gum Erasers Small Sponges Water and spray bottles Small Plastic Cups Popsicle sticks, carving tools, ceramic tools Pencils, glue and paint if you have it.

7 Example of a finished piece

8 Step 1. Buy and Cut Drywall
A 4 ft. by 8 ft. piece of drywall should be cut into 12" (or smaller) squares. This can be done by scoring the drywall on the "right" side with a boxcutter, and then "snapping" it along the score line. I use a boxcutter on the reverse side to cut through the remaining paper that held the squares together

9 A Tip!!! Students can glue their square of drywall (back side down) to a piece of cardboard the same size. This will help to make sure that the piece stays together, even if it cracks while they are working on it.

10 Students should use sponges (wet, but not dripping) to soften and remove the paper on the front of the board. This takes a lot of time and patience!

11 Creating a design in pencil
Students have created designs on newsprint or scrap paper. I have them transfer these designs in pencil onto their clean plaster surfaces. I encourage students to keep their designs simple and to keep raised lines or raised areas at least ½” thick due to the fragile nature of the plaster

12 Students use a small carving tool to outline their design.

13 Gum Erasers I have found that the junky 1” gum erasers that are often found in art rooms are really helpful in helping take the paper off. Just use it in a circular motion and you will see the paper magically come off and the smooth pristine plaster surface shining through!!!

14 Tip As they begin to carve, students should keep the surface slightly damp. This will make the drywall easier to carve and it seems to reduce chipping. If they get it too wet, however, it is much more likely to crack.

15 Once that is done, they should switch to a larger tool to more quickly remove areas that they intend to cut away.




19 More Helpful Hints Add the plaster powder that is produced from the carving to watered down elmer’s glue to make a very thick, plastery paste that can be used to fill in cracks and repair breaks. Put down newspaper on tables, so that cleanup is easy. Use a bucket to rinse out sponges and clean tools. Plaster will clog your sinks. Don’t let students carve too deep. It will make the drywall too fragile. It will break.

20 Shoepolish (rub on and off to create stain effect). Spray paint
Students can experiment on scrap pieces of drywall to determine surface treatments that will enhance their pieces. Acrylic Paint Watercolor Ink Washes Shoepolish (rub on and off to create stain effect). Spray paint Metallic gold leaf, paints, etc…










30 Student carving: Sculpture II student




34 Professional Contemporary Relief Artist: Carving in Plaster and sealed

35 A contemporary artists use of drywall to create relief

36 Drywall relief for ornamentation

37 Another contemporary artists use of drywall carving

38 A closeup view

39 Another contemporary relief/plaster artist



42 Additional relief project: Press Mold Tiles

43 1. The relief tiles are carved from the students’ ideas into leather hard clay slabs.

44 2. The original is cast in plaster to create a mold.

45 3. The mold is used and the tile is hand-pressed and carefully dried.

46 Dry tiles for at least a week and bisque fire
Dry tiles for at least a week and bisque fire. Once done, glaze can be added and a glaze fire can take place.














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