The choice of future engineers!
Plasterkraft is our most popular activity. It is also unique to Kraftworks for Kids. A Plasterkraft kit contains a variety of plaster blocks of various shapes. When assembled according to the instructions they make some kind architectural structure - a room or a building of some kind. These structures are often themselves modular, allowing them to be interconnected with other kits to make larger structures. Best of all, these larger structures can be used as the playing surface for a variety of tabletop games.
Plaster of Paris has a dry compression strength of around 2,000 psi. It produces a cast that chips and cracks easily, absorbs paint like a sponge, and shrinks extensively as it dries. In our Plasterkraft activity we use Hydrostone TB. It contains gypsum and a small amount of cement, which produces casts with a dry compression strength of around 10,000 psi. It produces a cast that rarely chips, handles paint well, and doesn't shrink much as it dries.
Making a Plasterkraft kit is a three step process: prepare the casts for gluing, glue the casts, and wait patiently for the glue to dry. Preparing the casts involves a small amount of sanding of the blocks to ensure that the surface to be glued is flat. Casts are then glued together using a PVA glue called Bondcrete. This product seals the plaster and bonds the plaster. Waiting for the glue to dry requires the patience of an Ent (or access to a dehydrator, which is our Plan B).
Painting large objects utilises some of the techniques taught in the Figurine Painting activity. The plaster is undercoated, then the base colour is applied, then the drybrush layer is applied, and then the highlight colour is applied.
Plasterkraft: Fuel for the imagination!
At Kraftworks we have our lunch between 12:00 and 1:00. During this time there is no craft activity. Instead we eat lunch, watch DVDs, and play tabletop games. At each Kraftworks location we have organized a local eatery to provide a lunch order service for staff and students. Lunch orders are placed at 10:00 for a 12:00 delivery.