This is a really short video, partly because I’m still learning how to make cement sculptures and I don’t feel quite confident enough to show you how to do it. You would not believe how many things I tried and then had to do it over. But I’m learning…
The other reason is that I don’t trust my surge protector, and I try to unplug my PC whenever we get a thunderstorm right over town. I could hear the lightning getting closer and closer so I tried to hurry. My dog kept me company by hiding under the desk, shaking. He really doesn’t like thunder.
In my video I also mention a paper sculptor who makes outdoor figure sculptures out of burlap and cement, and Pat has a great video showing how she does it. She has a printable PDF on her site with all the details, too, so be sure to click on that link. I didn’t use her instructions, but I did get the idea for my little farmer’s clothes from her video. [Edit: Daryll just sent us another link to a sculptor who has workshops in cement and mosaics. And a beautiful garden, too!]
You can see those emergency shelters I mention in the video here, and the book I purchased to find out how it’s done is here. It’s an interesting read, but certainly not needed if you’re just making a sculpture. When I get around to making some how-to videos I’ll tell you how I mixed in the latext paint (believe me, I was happy to find a way to get rid of some of the extra paint in my basement without taking it to the local landfill).
Andrew’s mortar recipes use stone dust. I used powdered marble, which you can get online in a 4 pound size for about $7. I searched around and found a 50 pound sack of finely ground calcium carbonate (same thing) that’s used for agriculture that also cost about $7, but I don’t think Azure Standard will deliver everywhere. If you have them ship UPS it will cost a fortune. Mine came on a truck on their regular delivery route. The stone dust is used in place of sand in Andrew’s unsanded mortars, and makes a really smooth mix.
The Metakaolin comes in 25 or 50 pound bags, and I think there’s only two companies in the US that sell it. It’s a special form of clay (not the same as plain kaolin) and makes a really big difference in the mix. You don’t need much, so 40 pounds may be an excessive purchase for most people, but I do think there’s a vendor on etsy.com that will sell a smaller package for sculptors who really only need a little. Do a search on that site to find it.
But don’t run out and buy all this stuff unless you’re really serious about filling your yard with sculptures – with such big bags (and over 90 pounds of Portland cement, the lightest bag I could buy here in town) you’ll end up with enough product to make a lot of sculptures. Maybe once I figure out the easiest way to do it and have some how-to videos made, you could go in with a group and have a weekend sculpting party. 🙂
Be sure to let me know if this is something you’d be interested in learning how to do – once I figure it out myself, of course. I’ll probably spend the rest of summer playing around with cement, but I could put my videos on another site, if you want to keep this blog strictly for paper mache. Your opinion is important to me, so be sure to leave a comment on this post.