Despite the name, jesmonite is not a mineral. Or, not exactly – jesmonite is a composite that consists of a gypsum-based material (a sulfate mineral made of calcium sulfate dihydrate) held together by a water-based acrylic resin.
As a material, jesmonite is known to be durable, fire resistant, and tough. As a composite its composition is loosely defined with the exact mix capable of alteration to improve the properties and appearance. The addition of pigments or metal powders is fairly common. It is a low hazard material capable of forming intricate shapes – either though casting or lamination – and after mixing jesmonite is in the form of a quick-setting liquid.
Mostly used in art, such as sculptures, jesmonite’s surface is often finished after the material sets and can be made to look like wood, stone, metal, or even leather. In addition to artwork, jesmonite is sometimes used in casting applications.