Thursday, 20 October 2011

Studio Work and Concrete Casting

Hi, this week has been busy. I've been continuing the hair punching on BB as well as working on some new silicone moulds and concrete,so for a change of pace, the subject for today's post is about concrete.
Concrete is usually thought of as a common building material,sidewalks,roads and foundations for buildings. But on occasion it's utilized as an art material.  I'm currently working on a concrete project for a local Toronto artist.
Unfortunately,I can't describe the art piece at this time but it will be in an upcoming show this November. I will be able to give details at a later time.
Anyways, in the above images will show a part of the process. Concrete, for those who are not sure is made up of cement, gravel and sand in specific proportions which is mixed with water to make a sluggish, thick,dark grey paste. This material is then troweled or poured into a mould(form) and then allowed to set or cure for a couple of days. Afterwards,the form or mould is removed from the concrete cast and voila! a finished sculpture.
This material has a stone like quality and that is no surprise because all the ingredients are derived from stone. It's a fairly easy material to use so long as the caster's work area is properly prepared. It can also have other materials added to the mix including colour. Concrete doesn't have to be grey or uniform. It can be polished and have sophisticated finishes applied to the surface as well. This material is long lasting unlike materials made from organic substances.

But like all materials,concrete has a few drawbacks,first it's heavy, a cubic foot will weigh 130lbs and second it's best used with objects that are compact in shape. The other problem is concrete has a tendency to trap air during the casting process which will leave small little air pockets on the surface of the cast . This problem can be reduced with vibration but it's not perfect.

In sum,with appropriate use,concrete can be another viable option for sculpture and installation work.
Next post, I will have updates on BB and other news as well.
Have a great weekend, I'll talk to you on Monday.
PS  special thanks to Barbara for the pictures.

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