Monday, January 5, 2015
First I'll show you how I made the "bowl". This part is made with "hypertufa"...a mixture of Peat Moss, Vermiculite, and Portland Cement. It dries lighter than cement. I formed the shape over a metal bowl with a baggy taped to it. Once it dried for 24 hours, I pulled it from the form, and let it dry. Actually it dried for months!
To make the "driftwood" stand, I began with an armature of stainless steel wire. I didn't really have a plan on how to make this look, so I just went with a "tripod" approach. I wanted it to feel like branches, though. After I formed the general shape, I added steel screen mesh around the wire.
I let the the "stand" dry for a day or so. Then came the detailing, where I added cracks and grooves to make the parts look more wood-like. This required me to add another layer of cement (with NO sand, so it would be smoother)...then I began to sculpt the form. I had to keep the whole surface area moist with a spritzer bottle of water, and a wet brush to smooth out the shapes.
Here is the final "stand"...looks a bit like driftwood...but I would have liked to have gotten deeper grooves in the "bark". For my first attempt, though, I'm pretty happy with it.
UPDATE Jan. 9, 2015
I may have made a mistake to try this so soon after finishing this project, but I wanted to make sure the birds had water during the snow season. I found out that the additional branches are NOT secured onto the stand very well. One branch (front left side) cracked loose when I was moving it. I think I can repair it in the Spring. Guess we'll see how my experiment holds up in the extreme cold.
Posted by Warren Ludwig
at 9:04 PM