Getting Crafty with Artist of the Month Henry Moore

2 min
Jul 15, 2024

Photo Credit: R. Tarver for Visit Philadelphia.

Our artist of the month, Henry Moore (1898-1986), has been called the most popular and influential sculptor of the 20th century. His art lives in many major cities around the world, including Philadelphia, where his Three-Way Piece Number 1: Points abstract sculpture takes up residence on Benjamin Franklin Parkway between 16th and 17th streets. Using Moore's creative work as inspiration, try creating your own art at home with your child with these step-by-step instructions for making plaster balloon sculptures from The Artful Parent. This activity is best-suited for preschool-age children and older.

How To Make At-Home Plaster Balloon Sculptures

You will need: 2 parts Plaster of Paris, 1 part cold water, Ziploc-type freezer bag, squeeze bottle, large balloons, scissors, paint (optional), glitter (optional) To make the balloon sculptures:

  • First stretch out the balloons by blowing them up and then letting the air back out of them.
  • Measure 4 cups plaster powder into a freezer bag, add 2 cups cold water, then zip the top of the bag closed. Mix and knead with hands until there aren't (many) lumps left.
  • Then tilt the bag so all the wet plaster goes to one side of the bag and snip the corner off at the other side. This makes it easier to transfer the plaster to the squeeze bottle. Just tuck the snipped-off end into the bottle opening and squeezed gently. (Never put wet plaster down the drain. Just discard into the trash can.)
  • Once the squeeze bottle is full, attach a balloon over the end of the bottle, then turn the bottle upside down and squeeze as much plaster into the balloon as you can.
  • Next, gently pull the balloon off the squeeze bottle, let any extra air escape, then tie the end.
  • Hand the plaster-filled balloon to your child and let them knead and squeeze the balloon to their heart's content. After a while, the plaster changes consistency, becoming more gel-like, then heats up and finally hardens.
  • Once it heats up, you have to hold the plaster-filled balloon in whatever shape you want the final sculpture to be. And you have to have the patience to hold it that way for a little while.
  • Once dried, snip the balloon off and admire the finished product. Older children can paint their finished sculpture.
Show us your final creations by sharing on our Facebook page! Happy sculpting!