Plaster – Its Forms in Art and Architecture

Workshop in the Sitterwerk St.Gallen

June 29, 2015 to July 04, 2015

In the Material Archive in 2015, the focus will be placed on plaster as a material. With its extremely diverse qualities, plaster has a presence in art and architecture, and as a material used in making molds, it is also used in the realization of castings. There, plaster is an important aid that substantially shapes the effect and character of cast objects.

From June 29 to July 4, 2015, an open workshop in which historical and current processes for producing plaster castings are the focus is taking place in the Sitterwerk. The one-week course is aimed at professionals and students of conservation/restoration and of monument preservation and architecture. Thomas Schelper, head of the Gipsformerei (replica workshop) in Berlin, will lead the course and teach the practical realization of traditional plaster molds. Parallel to this, current working methods can also be demonstrated in the surroundings of the Kunstgiesserei. The concrete handling and processing of the material is intended to sensitize the participants to the character of plaster castings. This character arises from an interplay of impression techniques, mold making, plaster quality, and surface treatment. Further information is available in the course description.

Within the framework of the project, the Material Archive is also interested in expanding the collections of the Material Archive. This involves research on various types and compositions of plaster. The results will subsequently be made accessible to the public in the form of datasets on the webpage ( and via an app. In addition to the theoretical preparation, corresponding material samples will also be produced and equipped with RFID chips that make direct reference to the digital background information. This and a final exhibition will enable a broad public to view the contents and results of the course.

The project is supported by the Stiftung zur Förderung der Denkmalpflege (Foundation for the Promotion of the Conservation of Historical Monuments).

Course description (in German)