Tuesday, 9 June 2015

This picture...

is purely for colour enticement, since this is more of a 'crazy-what-the-heck-went-on-there?' post:

Keep these stones in mind, as they played a significant part in my morning.  I was up practically before dawn cracked to join Alison and Bart Bjorkman at Legend Rock Designer Concrete to watch and 'help' them pour a concrete table top for my new work station at Puffin Design Gallery.  We're in the midst of a heat wave here, and since concrete sets way too fast in 35° weather, we got an early morning head start.

The first order of business was for me to choose colours for the table top, and I decided on a red oxide and carbon black pigments on white concrete, so most of these pigments got relegated again to the back room.

From the three trays of stone (and several large jars of them stacked away on a window ledge) I chose some glass stones to complement my colour scheme.  I'd also brought a jar of crushed garnet from home that I thought might work with what I had in mind.

Meanwhile, Bart was setting up the pails needed to mix the concrete - three for the dry ingredients, and three for the wet.  

While Bart headed outside to mix the concrete (you can hardly tell he loves this job!),

Alison got me working inside, splashing raw pigment in to the form.  Since I'm so spatially challenged, it took a while for me to get that the bottom of the form was going to be the top of the table, so pigments, stones and other things one wants to see must go in first.  Of course, there's not only the issue of bottom and top, but side to side complicates things as well.  My eyes were crossing (and perhaps rolling a bit) as Bart tried to get it through to me, with little success.  I may have seen his eyes rolling there too.  

The surface, covered with pigments, crushed garnet, and three different colours of stone was a picture on its own, and soon to be completely hidden with the concrete.

Alison and I got so thoroughly occupied with glopping the concrete on top of the surface we'd created that we had no time to take photos.  We tell ourselves it was all in the interest of working while the concrete was still moist, and not that we got brain-bleeped.

After considerable glopping, patting, squishing, thumping and leveling, Alison spent some time smoothing over what I'd done (she insisted this was not the case, but I have my doubts).

Bart then did some additional leveling and smoothing with what he called butter, which is a liquid finish.  I pretended to help him for this photo.

I was thoroughly fascinated by the whole process, and when I got to play with the leftover concrete, even more so.  I made this totally stunning bowl and platter.  Can you hear me laughing uproariously?

Bart and Alison assure me that it will be very interesting which I suspect is a euphemism for 'My God, what have you done?'.   I've no doubt they're right about that.

I'm pumped that I get to go back tomorrow to see the unveiling of these pieces and watch Bart start the long process of smoothing and sanding (some 8+ separate goes at it are required to ensure a beautifully polished surface). 

I love learning how makers create things, and the whole process was fascinating in the extreme (did you know that concrete has fibre embedded in it?). What worries me is that I may have another addiction.  What if concrete bridges, buildings, and dams loom in my future, all highly pigmented and filled with precious stone?

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