Whenever a plaster cast of a sculpture emerges from the mould it always looks unprepossessing. Lifeless. Pitted. Dull. Dirty. But you know it can only get better. Here is Robert Newton’s portrait just out of the mould. Andrew Brown – the caster – has attached ‘studding’ (or a threaded metal post) to assist mounting it on a stand/plinth later. As the piece has been loosely sculpted the mould had retained lots of bits of the terracotta clay. Which means this clay has been transferred to the plaster cast. So the clean up begins. The head is very heavy given 1.25 life-size so I have made a ‘beanbag’ out of a black bin liner filled with the ‘right’ amount of polystyrene beans. It took a couple of attempts to get this ‘right’ amount. I’ve placed this in the sink and rested the plaster head on top. Means I don’t have to bend down too low when working on it with plaster tools and sandpaper. Bit of a problem though – this is my kitchen sink. The joys of waiting to move into a new studio.