PlasterCraft is a low-cost, quick and easy craft, yet capable of producing outstanding results when using the advanced acrylic products now available.
Plaster whiteware, as cast plaster objects are called, cover wall plaques, figurines, lamp bases and hundreds of additional items, for children and adults to decorate.
The only thing required to turn an inexpensive piece of whiteware, into high-priced “objet d’art” is your finishing touch. My own home proudly contains a beautiful set of birds and figurines, that my wife decorated many years ago.
They show a much wider range of tonal values, than is possible in hobby ceramics, using hobby ceramic glazing techniques and look even more beautiful because it.
It is a craft for young and old, with good results possible with comparatively low skill levels.
What is “Plaster of Paris”?
Over the course of many millions of years, inland lakes, formed deposits called gypsum, a white mineral rock. When Gypsum is ground to a fine powder and heated or calcined, most of its water content is lost, but if water is reintroduced, the mixture reverts to its original rock like formation.
Gypsum in its various forms, is to be found worldwide and has been used by many civilisations over the past 6000 years. The Egyptians used it as a constituent of mortar, to cover the walls of their tombs.
The term “Plaster of Paris” comes to us from the 18th century when a French chemist Lovoiseur developed methods that led to the commercial production of plaster, from the great mineral deposits or beds of gypsum, that were found to exist beneath the city of Paris.
Introduced into Britain about 1250 by Henry 111, decorative plaster work reached its height with the pargetting and stucco work on contemporary houses. With modern simplicity and for reasons of cost, little of this creative work is seen today.
With modern technology the older, cruder forms of Plaster of Paris have largely been replaced by a new superfine plasters and gypsum cements, under such trade names as Hydrocal, Ultracal plus dental plaster and similar speciality plasters.
We will concentrate on the lowest cost, locally available plaster produced by Boral called Casting Plaster. This superfine white plaster includes surface hardeners, making it especially suitable for finishing with decorative paints and to prevent surface chipping.
Making Money from Plaster Craft
There are many avenues to make money from plaster craft. For finished ware, when professionally decorated, gift shops, novelty shops and department stores welcome unusual items for resale.
Large quantities of the smaller unpainted pieces of whiteware can be placed with
- Primary schools
- Council arts and crafts departments for children’s activities during school holidays
- Children’s holiday camps
- Plaster painting parties
- Dentists and doctors sometimes use the painting of plaster pieces, to help dispel young people’s fears of visiting their surgeries
- Booths set up in shopping centres, again during school holidays
- Many hospitals use plaster painting as therapy
- Local markets and fairs
- Church and school fund-raising groups are often open to offers, for others to run the plaster painting stall at fairs, with a share of the profits
In other words, setting up a business can be done with a very small investment. Plaster casting as such, receives little publicity, because most of the production comes from the hundreds of small operators in their home workshops. Some have grown into large operators selling only wholesale.
We do not recommend setting up plaster painting businesses in a retail shop, due to the high cost of rent and associated services. However a great opportunity exists for craft shop proprietors to set aside the rear section of their businesses, to children’s plaster painting parties and after school activities.
In Northern Victoria a craft shop proprietor has found parents are using her services to conduct plaster painting classes for their children, while the parents go shopping. Several entrepreneurs are setting up a play areas inside shopping malls, with plaster painting as the drawcard, with great success.
This concept has proved very successful for those who have tried this method of selling whiteware and running plaster painting classes and can be highly recommended. Profits can run as high as 1000% selling acrylic paint and brushes as additions to the sale of whiteware.
The classes generate a constant flow of traffic into the craft shops, in otherwise what could be slow selling periods. All that is required is a table and a few chairs placed in the rear area of the shop, thus utilising an underused part of the shop.
Does a Plaster Craft Business Require Much Money to Start?
All businesses require some money to start operating. However PlasterCraft has one of the lowest capital requirements. Complete kits are available to cater for all size businesses, complete with full instructions.
Is previous business experience required?
Most plaster craft businesses have succeeded with little or no previous business knowledge and picked up the techniques along the way. We have had 25 years of experience in setting up studios operating from homes and welcome the opportunity to help you in the early stages.
How long does it take to set up a home studio?
Start small, by setting up tables and chairs in a suitable location in the home, with another area set aside for making moulds and casting the whiteware, usually a garage or garden shed.
In most instances, council permission should be obtained, prior to starting business, but rarely is this withheld.
Is this a franchise business?
No, you are free to purchase a starter kit from us, and we will give you ongoing advice and assistance if required. You do not have to pay any additional fees for this service.
Our starter kits are designed to cater for those who wish to set up a plaster painting business as a means of making additional income. In other words, a low cost way of trying it out, before you make any larger financial commitment.
The kits contain something of everything that a plaster painting studio would carry in stock, bulk acrylic paint, brushes, moulds and plaster, together with full instructions.
Make a happy lifetime decision to earn a second income doing something you can enjoy and order your kit today! Click here.