April 1, 2013

Paper plaster and egg tempera

Among other things Paide SRIK organizes workshops of natural plastering and painting techniques, usually lime or clay plasters etc.
This March and April we had 2 such worksops.

First the workshop on "paper plaster" and "sawdust plaster".
"Paper plaster" is also known as paper mache. It is actually one of the traditional ways to make handmade paper and it is used also on making paper ornaments, toys etc. But it is also possible to use it as a plaster - to cover wooden or stone walls inside. It gives good insulating effect and is also good technique in old houses, where walls are not very even.
The recipe of the plaster is simple: first chop (better wettered) newspapers, make small pieces and leave them into the water for a while. Then squeeze the water out of the paper, put it into the bucket, add water and methyl cellulose (a glue, you can also replace it with glue for wallpapering). Then mix it and add chalk (about 3-4 handfuls per bucket), also add a little bit boron (against mould) and mix it really well to make it look and feel like paste - then it is easier to plaster it. Then you have plastering which is warm and nice with structure of paper. It also one of the cheapest plasters you can get and also available for people, who live in towns and cities.

Another natural plaster is what we call "sawdust plaster". It is also natural, cheap and have great insulating effect. Take 3 parts of sawdust, 2 parts of chopped and wettered newspaper and 1 part of clay (you can use normal pottery dry clay powder). Add just water and mix it well. And it is ready for use. Using very fine pieces of paper makes it possible to use it for finishing layer.

For the finishing we used another natural paint - egg tempera. Take simply 1 egg, the same part by volume of boiled lineseed oil and the same part by volume of water. First filter egg through gauze or stockings to remove bigger parts of it. Then mix it first with oil and only then with water. Now you have transparent paint, also good for primer before or after painting.
If you add to this 1 part of talc or kaolin or what we cell "titanwhite" you get more covering paint, a nice natural white paint. If you add natural pigments you get beatiful finishing, especially on natural plasters, but also on wood.
For 10-15m2 you need 5 eggs and corresponding parts of other ingredients.

All ingredients necessary for these techniques are available in Paide SRIK.

Photos of plastering workshop and egg-tempera workshop.

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