Someone Has A New Hobby….



Day two of my cement art workshop and I’m hooked!! On the first day we learned all about cement mortar and concrete and how to properly mix it to make different figures and pieces of art. We’ve been mixing a mortar like consistency with sand cement and a little fiber and water. We practiced by making our first project which was a bowl. We simply used a stainless steel bowl placed upside down on the table and added moist sand around the lip to hide that part of the bowl and create a wide rim on our bowl. Then we covered the bowl with wax paper to assure that the cement will easily release from the bowl. We also walked around the yard and collected cool looking little leaves and placed them on the bowl over the wax paper and before adding the concrete which will give a pretty leaf pattern inside the finished piece. Another option , in place of the wax paper some used plastic wrap which gave the piece a shiny surface after it dried. I decided to scrunch up my wax paper and this gave a wonderful texture after it dried. Then we added the mortar and completely covered the bowl and the sand around the lip. I then added more leaves on the cement to give the outside of the bowl the same leaf pattern. We used a trowel to flatten the very bottom of the bowl giving it a level base so it sits nicely. Then we covered it with plastic wrap and let it dry over night. This morning , first thing we unwrapped our bowls and removed all the wax paper and leaves and used a file to smooth out any rough, pokey edges. Then rinsed it off and put a little water inside the bowl, wrapped it in a plastic bag and put it away to finish slowly drying. If it dries too fast it may crack so keeping it a little moist is important. I just love my bowl, its very organic looking, which I love. The next step will be learning to tint and die and all that good stuff. It will be very interesting to learn about all the different dies and tints and chemicals to use to create color on concrete.

Day two (today) we learned about sand casting. We were told to bring a big leaf with us to class. I went up to our property and got some huge leaves to bring. I decided to use one of my giant leaves to make a birdbath. First we placed damp sand down on the surface about the same size as the leaf, the leaf then goes on top of this small form and then on top of the leaf is the mortar. He instructed me to make it about 2-21/2 inches thick and to make the edges a little flatter so the birds would have a place to sit while they drink. This will dry tonight, we shall see tomorrow what happens with that. I also made the base of the birdbath by rolling up some wire mesh and covering it with a scratch coat of mortar to be added to tomorrow. I cant wait to finish this piece. My mind is just racing, thinking about all the different possibilities! One thing I’d really like to consider trying is making concrete countertops for our casita! The most important part will be learning where we can buy all the chemicals for tinting and adding color. Here’s a few photos of the progress so far…..


















19 responses »

  1. It’s so much fun I can’t believe everyone in Boquete hasn’t done it. Maybe after they see our fantastic pieces of art they will be lining up at Chris’s house.

  2. You’ll be able to see an example of how not to do a concrete counter top at la casa. 🙂 There are several houses around here that have the stained concrete flooring, I love the look! Looks like you’re having tons of fun!

  3. Wow, how exciting! Maybe concrete is even better than clay, and it certainly is used a lot around here. And… you are building, and will need sinks, floors, counter tops… the imagination runs away 😀

  4. ¡Qué maravilloso! This looks like a great hobby. Keep it up. You can decorate your new home with all your finished products. Love

  5. Oh…. 🙂 I did that when I lived in Boquete. I LOVED it! If I had a place here in the Florida to make the mess I would still be doing it. I still get compliments on my BIG leaves that I have decorating my house. I suggest making several smaller leaves to give as gifts. I gave them to friends to use as jewelry dishes or a place to set keys.

    • Hola Mindy! Yes! Isnt it so much fun to create things , especially when they’re usable! I love your idea about making small leaf plates as gifts…I’ll have to keep that in mind. But Man! My hands are getting so beat up!! Geesh! Concrete really dries them out!!! I’m a big cry baby today! Scott’s doing a lot of eye rolling at me at the moment! Hah!

  6. Wow Holly! This is so what you want to do and your bowl is perfect! Can’t wait to see your bird bath. I bet your soul is soaring! I must say, I do love Mindy’s idea, don’t you?

  7. Last night watched Grand Design.. Mentioned before.. They had built a polished concrete top in kitchen ..Magnificent .. Polished concrete floors are also wonderful.

  8. How cool!
    When we get there I am signing up for this class and the stained glass class as well!
    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Impressive, my friend–I like all the pictures of the room where you are working and the projects that are in progress—gives me a feel for “being there”!

    • Oooo I love that! I’d be so into that if I was there. Another cool thing to use is the loose filling that goes into attics. It’s like using paper mâché but much easier and better and stronger.

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