Materials and Costs

I think it would be useful to keep a record of materials I have used in my projects so that I can review the range and think about other possibilities. This might also be useful to prospective students worried about materials and costs. I have resolved to buy as little as possible beyond the prescribed clay and plaster. This means using found materials or those already in stock in the house, left over from DIY etc. It has to be said that I live in a house where everyone likes making things and hates throwing stuff out, so there is plenty of material available.

Part 1

  • Pallet wood from skip
  • undercoat paint
  • wood strip
  • string
  • nails, screws
  • old cork tiles
  • block of wood from timberyard skip
  • steel wire
  • flooring nails
  • fabric scraps, polystyrene etc from Recycle bin
  • acrylic paint
  • small glue gun £6 Clas Olsen

Part 2

  • pots and pans
  • drinking straws £1
  • steel wire
  • fishing line
  • old prints
  • bottle tops
  • loo roll
  • PVA
  • tile cement
  • blow torch
  • craft wire £7 (which I didn’t use)
  • wood from the garden
  • pine shelving from garden centre skip
  • scrap soft furnishing cord

Part 3

  • Clay £9
  • Membership of pottery studio (4 months) £8
  • Clay wire cutter £1.60
  • Clay modelling tools £2.70
  • polystyrene packing blocks
  • hot wire (inherited from the kids Warhammer modelling days)
  • Plaster of Paris,  Hobbycraft £9 for 5kg, ebay £21.99 for £25kg (see note)
  • two buckets £1.98 Wickes
  • an old sheet ripped up for scrim
  • hot glue sticks £5
  • scrap metal as base weights
  • cheesecloth £1
  • fix and fill foam £7
  • bamboo skewers £1
  • surform
  • Liberon Beeswax (left over from repolishing bannister)
  • sandpaper

Part 4

  • wood strip £10
  • clay and plaster carried over from Part 3
  • wood screws
  • mdf offcut £2.50
  • waste card for collagraph bases
  • collage materials
  • cord and rope
  • dowling £6
  • charity shop handbag £4
  • more plaster £9
  • charity shop oversize knitting needles £1

Part 5

  • Cocktail sticks £1
  • J-cloths £1.50
  • face masks £3.50
  • plywood – donated by veneering firm
  • undercoat
  • gesso
  • loo roll centres
  • kitchen roll for papier mache
  • scroll saw
  • fabric tape
  • polystyrene packaging
  • scrap plastic strapping
  • cardboard cylinder
  • undercoat/primer
  • acrylic paints and gesso
  • scrap medical instruments
  • plastic bottles – recycling centre
  • chalk £1
  • tile cement
  • filler
  • wood strip left over from Part 4


The course materials call for Plaster of Paris (PofP) but the only local source for this that I could find was Hobbycraft at £2/kg (£1.80 with student discount) and a kg goes absolutely nowhere. Builders merchants were bemused by the request. At Art in Action I spent ages talking to a sculptor working in PofP and he advised me to look online for Fine Casting Plaster or CrystalcalR (his plaster of choice). I was able to buy Fine Casting Plaster on ebay for £21.99 inc postage for 25kg and the supplier listed the chemical formula so I was able to check that it was, indeed, PofP: CaSO4·½H2O.



About starrybird

I am mature student studying art with The Open College of the Arts. My passion is printmaking.
This entry was posted in Part 5 Developing Sculpture and Imagination, Reflection. Bookmark the permalink.

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