Monday, June 14, 2010

More on the Concrete Sculpture

I took some photographs of the recent concrete sculpture I have been working on. The structure (armature) is steel rebar with steel mesh wrapped around that. The sculpture is in two parts that will be resting on each other, separate but together, in the final piece.

My original idea was black and white stripes on the branch-like forms, but I toned down the really strong contrast. The first photo shows the thin black-pigmented cement after being applied. I used masking tape to keep the smooth mixture in the right places. When the cement had cured enough (about 24 hours) I peeled off the tape and wet sanded the piece. Then I scratched grooves in the surface with very coarse sandpaper (16 grit) and an old file, followed by an application of a thin layer of white Portland cement and metakaolin that covered everything. The next photo shows the application of that thin white layer.

You can see the scratches made in the black in the photo. The white smooth mix is rubbed into those grooves so that when most of the white is sanded off, the lines would show as white. After I did this I then did the revese colour process—scratching that surface again, but this time rubbing a thin black layer over everything. After this cures I will wet sand it off with something like a 320 grit paper to reveal (hopefully) a very complex and interesting surface.

In the meantime both pieces of the sculpture are wrapped in plastic to allow them to damp cure.


Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for your post. :) would you mind posting a bit about the rebar/meshing process? I'll be following your work, thank you again!

Pittsburgh PA
emerging concrete artist 2010

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