Thursday, October 1, 2009

Concrete; The Clay Alternative

I have always been attracted to working with other materials whether drawing on wood blocks, watercolor painting, or working with paper mache.
It is in this constant curiosity of discovering new materials that my new obsession was born.

It was late summer and the gardens were in full swing. The sunflowers were beaming like sunlight, the sedums were blushing rose, and the alocasia ( elephant ears) were in full glory down by the pond. It was these massive leaves that put me into a creative frenzy.

I wanted to make large ceramic leaf platters but with my studio and tools still in Brooklyn I had to take a different coarse. Then it popped into my head CONCRETE.
I have seen concrete leaves before in magazines and garden shops and had always wanted to make my own.
So I set out to the local hardware store and bought a 60lb. bag of concrete mix and rushed home. When I got back to the house I picked some of the largest leaves I could find, and gathered an old wheelbarrow, gloves, and the hose. I then went to the back of the turkey coup and started to mix and experiment.

I only got two leaves and one pot out of the one bag, but with new pieces still hardening up I knew then that I was hooked.
The next morning I ran out back to see the results. The first leaf I turned over, the left side crumbled in my hand.
I was too eager, so went back into the house and waited a couple of more hours before I would try again.
The second time was the charm with a beautiful perfect leaf bowl as the result.
As soon as I saw this new piece I went back to the hardware store and bought 3 more bags. When I returned I went into production mode and made a dozen leaves of all shapes and sizes.

They will cure for the upcoming winter in the barn and then they will be ready for the gardens and available for customers.

I am so excited to introduce these new garden ornaments to the pottery! They are beautiful as simple objects and useful as water catching basins for the birds that visit your properties. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed making them!

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