I eventually want to have many rocks littering the floor of my installation, in order to add to the immersion of my world, by bringing the virtual into the real. To experiment with this, I made a cardboard model of what I wanted my rock to look like, following this, I poured plenty of plaster into this mold and waited for it to dry out. Once it had dried, I remembered that cardboard is absorbent, therefore the plaster had soaked into the cardboard, meaning I had to chisel out the shape of the rock by hand in order to make the surfaces smooth.
I researched multiple possibilities to cast from my rock with, including alginate, although most routes became dead ends due to expense. Then out of a matter of sheer luck, Sophie had the vinamold that the department owns, and she lent me it. To prepare the plaster for the vinamold, I coated the rock in multiple layers of PVA glue to protect the porous material from creating air bubbles in the cast.
After many many attempts, I finally managed to cast the rock properly and gained a mold! It was solid enough to withstand the plaster and still hold its shape, therefore, I began casting with the mold.
Pictured below are the multiple casts I made using the vinamold, all with different ratios of plaster as it’s still my first time using plaster for anything. There were a few surface bubbles on the plaster casts, but they were easily sanded off.
I then began papering the rocks with textures from Skyrim ready for my installation. I also coated them in a layer of PVA after this, so that they were waterproof. I really think that the variety of texture works well with the appearance of the landscape from Skyrim. They are also solid enough that they are not as delicate and unrefined as the cardboard chair from last term, so they can be held and touched and interacted with, as per my immersive installation.