That's pretty cool Scoot. My daughter and I tried a couple of items last year but when we only have a week or 2 at a time it 's kind of hard to do it. They don't really get dried out before she has to leave. And it isn't much fun doing things by yourself.
I would think a granite finish would be really neat.
As with garden art making you look at ordinary or cast-off items in a different light, so does this. Start looking at things that could make intersting molds for troughs or containers. I was about to toss an old electric broiler, but realized that the removable part is a great size and shape for a medium size trough! I'm gathering a pile of things like that, now to get started on actually making something. I needed this, because my early efforts were awful, and I need more instruction.
Jnette, how about some friends or neighbors to do this with? I invited two of my gardening enablers. We made disasters, but had a lot of fun! We aren't ready to give up though, just realized that we need more experience.
My friends and I attempted to make toad houses, we intended to attach broken tiles over the surface, like a mosaic. We must have made the mixture too wet, because it slumped a little to the bottom (we inverted bowls and formed the mixture over the bowls.) The result was that the bottoms were thicker, the tops too thin, and they broke into three pieces when trying to remove the molds.
I saw in the link that cutting the dowel for the drainage hole to the desired thickness of the bottom of the pot would serve as a guage for the thickness. What about the sides, and other projects like the toad houses? What do you suggest to help maintain uniform thickness (or at least sufficient thickness?)
Yeah Maggiemoo, I thought of that but my "neighbors" are minimum 14 miles away. I think they get nosebleeds if they travel this far. LOL
Gotta tell you I asked a lady at a garage sale how one of her relatives was and she said she rarely gets "down there" He is 3 blocks away.
I have found that in rural areas everybody is related to everybody else. And a lot of time they don't get along, but you sure don't want to say anything wrong about any of them.
I didn't make this..I bought it. It stands about 4ft. tall. And I do think the base needs to be wider for stability. It is a little unstable. We buried some of the base in the soil...to keep it stable.
I really liked the design of it too! I had never seen anything like it..so of course..had to have it..lol!
Ohhh...and the base IS solid...kinda heavy...so evidently they used a form...and just packed it in. I would think they would have to have some kind of wire or metal in there to keep it from cracking????? I'm sure we will take it in for the winter...my husband takes everything in...lol!
Jnette...I loved your post on the rural areas...lol! It's soooooooo true!! I live in a rural area...and everyone thinks I am in a different country or something!
Well Jnette... the base is fairly heavy..yes. But not as heavy as cement would be. The top is the same as any tufa container that size would be. And yeah...I like it too..thought it was really different!
I just found this. Thanks for striking up an intrest in Tufa!!!
I hope to get some projects going in several weeks now that I have some leaves getting good sized to do some things with. It's so much fun playing in the Tufa during the summer months. Makes me feel like a kid again...LOL
Did you know
Tufa Cow pies are much easier to make...
Than dog doodie's
Several months ago I was ready about tufa and I though peat moss was added to the portland and that's what made is light...I didn't see any mention of what is making your tufa light...what did I miss? I am going to try this...it looks like so much fun and I want a waterfall for my garden...
My main interest is in making artificial rocks and boulders - which is the best recipe for that? I'd want them to be fairly dark, to look natural with the rocks I already have. I assume they could be hollow?
I've never tried hypertufa, but have wanted to for some time - I appreciate all this information! :)
Zylphey, our member Trois (in TX) has made a LOT of rocks that look very natural. Just look up some of his threads. I think he has givern his recipe and techniques. If you don't find it, shoot him an email.
Scoots, I will probably carve one coin maybe 18" in diameter, and make a mold from it, perhaps altering successive castings a bit with some carving.
What I need is a easier way to get the lumps out of the peat. Or a source for finely milled peat with the lumps already out (which is much preferred, lol!). I've only done one Grot so far but that peat was the most tedious thing to do and I still left too many lumps in, plus I was dark brown from head to toe by the time I finshed breaking it up.
Grot turned out ok, ugly lil' hammerhead tho. I made him with the top of his mouth open so he could double as a toad abode. He didn't seem to be hardening properly (what do I know, lol!) so I made a slurry and coated him with that, then buffed some of it back off with a piece of cement. Made for an interesting skin tone...named him Motley :)
Nice leaves Scoot!
Ok I will share a few projects from last year. Here are two EE leaves. The one on the left is a mix of 1-PC, 1.5-Perlite, 1.5-Peat. The one on the right is a mix of 1-PC, 4-Play sand.
The one on the left 'Hypertufa' is considerably lighter and has a lot of the perlite texture in it. I also used a cement coloring in it.
Here is my ginsu planter box. I use the syrofoam mold that the ginsu knives came in for the mold on the front of the box. The bowls and the box are all a mix of
1.5 or 2 - Perlite
I messed around with the mix so I kinda messed with the perlite. You just have to go with the feel of the mix...LOL
Ok just a couple more and then I am gonna water the garden...LOL
Here are some planter bowls. I use a plastic planter bowl for the mold placing the mix inside the bowl. These were quite easy to make and look a tad bit better than the plastic bowls.
your pictures are very inspiring! The ee leaves..how'd you do that? did you dig an indention in the ground or sand then place the leaves in it, then added your tufta mix? If you've posted the "how to's" on this thread, please forgive me..the thread is long and i've skimmed over the postings. If you've posted the how tos, let me know and I'll go back up and read all the postings carefully. Thank you. I am so inspired!
Here are some instructions on leaves I found useful. The EE leaves you need to mound the sand in the shape of the leaf if you don't want it to be flat. Hope this gives you an idea. I'm sure Shirley will help also. http://www.magma.ca/~robicho/rhubarb.htm
Good Job Shirley!
See she read my mind and helped out Just lickity Split...
And please remember this is for fun and if you don't first Make a good leaf casting. Keep trying you will only get better at it. Believe me I made some good ones which are now in the bottom of many a planter...LOL
The colander snaps together. Just place dry peat in it snap the blue one on to the white one and shake it over a tub or bucket. It is best to wear a mask when doing so the fine peat does become airborne.
I understand that you use peat moss, but why don't your finished products look like straw in them, or peat in them or what bulk in them...they all look so smooth...Oh, another, sorry...the leaves with the extra perlite...it that why it has the bubble effect:? I like that...I assume that the perlite falls out when the item is unmolded..correct?
I love hypertufa, and casting leaves. About an hour ago, I finished my first elephant ear, one large and one small, also a hydrangea leaf and a brugmansia leaf.
Here's a picture of the th ree gunnera leaves I cast last fall. I let them sit outside all winter in the rain, and I did have a terrible time getting all the leaf off, but finally they are done.
The leaves are not thin at all. They have a good thickness to them, probably 3/4 inch at the thickest part.
Small leaves dont' really require any reinforcement, but I use the fibreglass drywall tape in the larger ones.
Thank you! He's my first 'tufa effort. I'd love to try some leaves once my EEs grow bigger, or do one of those spheres you fill with water and float a ball in. I bought a wallyworld ball to use as a form but it's still riding around in my trunk. I need finer peat and one of those plastic colander things, poor Motley is going to be quite pocked when his peat rots out. I'll have to re-slurry him no doubt.
There are some great projects on this thread, makes me want to go out and get muddy :)
Diana, Motley has an interesting expression on his face; you did a terrific job of hand-sculpting. I truly love the garden bench in the background. Did you make that or purchase it? If you purchased it, would you mind sharing where you purchased it, please.
Hi all... the current issue of Garden Gate magazine has a short article and pix on making a Hypertufa trough planter. I think the recipe is basically the same - used a shoe box as the mold. And they have an on-line "extra" with a planting guide. Visit http://www.gardengatemagazine.com
Adeline I was going for the Troll/Gargoyle "You disturbed my rest and now it's your butt!" kind of look but somehow he reminds me of the creature form the black lagoon instead, lol! Guess I never got over seeing that movie as a small child, it scared the snot out of me :)
I bought the bench at a little flea market type place that's no longer in business :( I hated to see that it had closed, they sold imperfect pieces but they were so inexpensive! I only paid $20 for that bench. The imperfections made the pieces even more charming, imho. Here's my favorite one that I got from there, I think I paid $25 for him:
DianaT...I was just KEEDING about your troll...it is beautiful, as troll go that is...and yes, I knew those were cats...maybe in a few more years I won't, but at the present time...BTW, they are adorable, as cats go, too...
Suzi, he has an upside down cracked ceramic flowerpot in his head that I was going to throw away, and half of a 4" plastic one laying on it's side to mold his face/mouth on. Straight line...what's that?
Hap I am glad that you were kidding (bg)! (only one is a cat though...uh...you knew that too didn't ya?) Yes I'm new here lol!
GardenGuyKin I love your pots you made. I have seen in the past some of your containers you have made even the one chair that you have your EE placed in. Very good ideal.
DianaT your Motley is simply darling. I would love to have him in my yard. I could see my male pug now lending down on his front legs with his butt in the air just barking his fool head off at it. You did a great job. This one you should be very proud of. I would love to find a place like the flea market you went to. I have been looking for a bird bath on the order of the one you have. But everyplace I look they want a fortune for them.
Everyone keep up the good work I will mark this forum as a watched favorite so I can see some of the neat things you will be making. I'm not artistic so I won't be posting anything.
Wish I could find the spare time to play and make some of the neat things you guys are making. In the meantime, I will just view your successes and make plans to do some of them myself when things let up a bit in my life. I have had the plans to experiment wit h the project possibilities on my "To Do" list forever, it seems. I have instructions, etc. that probably go back as much as 10 years. I saw lots of examples in England a few years ago and that put the "bee in my bonnet". I just haven't found myself at the starting place yet.
How is that beaufiful German Shepherd show dog doing these days?
You know, I've been avoiding this thread because it seems a little complicated to me, but now I've read pt 1 and pt 2 and looked at all the photos and I could get hooked on this...I love the outcome...perhaps I could love the process... Mary
scooterbug, you are so funny, you just can't wait until everyone here is a hypertufa addict, too...I will give it a try...I love playing in the mud being a former potter...but this doesn't require firing, which means I have no more excuses...oh my god, I'm already buying into it hook, line and sinker...
Okay Shirley, It is done, I have begged Dave for the forum, I have threatened that we will shoot ourselves if we don't get it and I have told him we will display our finished work over at the Garden Art forum...I'm psyched to give it a whirl...You're very convincing...Mary
I read that, including the pdf file. How much do you use fiber to concrete? How long would it last/many items would it make? Does everyone use this as I don't remember reading about it before? ~ Suzi :)
"If anyone needs fiber mesh and is tired of the "blank stare at the headlights" reaction when you ask for the product."
I love that!!!!!!!!! Boy, do Iknow that look!!! I am always getting that look from clerks and I am glad to know that I am not the only one!!!! I am still laughing at that. You made my day!
Here's the recipe we used & a pix of my trough (still curing but cool)
1 1/2 parts portland cement (gray or white)
2 parts horticultural perlite
2 parts spaghnum moss (sifted) (we used a collender)
1/2 oz acrylic fibermesh (average handful)
1 cup liquid acrylic bonding agent (mixed into water) (Acryl 60 or e-bond)
1 gal water
Each part equals one 2-lb coffee canful
We found that using very hard molds and putting plastic over them before we applied the hypertufa mixture, made it much easier to remove the trough from the mold. My husband made my mold out of plywood (a large box with a smaller box inside, so the walls would be even), and I painted several coats of cooking oil over it to get the cement to release easily. As it was, we had to tear the inside box apart to get it out but since my husband screwed the walls of the outside box with screws, when we unscrewed them, the walls came away easily. Our next workshop is mid-Sept when the weather is cooler. We are experimenting with styrofoam coolers (turned upside down), plastic bowls (hard plastic), plastic flower pots,etc. I bought two hard plastic containers, one slightly smaller than the other, so I can use it as a mold, apply the cement inside and put the smaller container inside, to keep the walls uniform. Lots of fun & great team-building exercise. Oh yes, almost forgot, I sprinkled broken up pieces of red brick over the top to get a rough red appearance.
Mmmm . . . so beautiful . . . and so inspiring! This forum totally blows my mind. Great work, Happenstance! And thanks, Scooterbug, for the link. Your leaves are so gorgeous, too, Scooterbug! The talent and creativity of these garden folk at DG are awesome.
Deep veined leaves like cuke , squash or hosta leaves (start with a smaller leaf for learning the process)
latex or acrylic paints
Leaves should not be torn or otherwise blemished.
The plant sugars from these wounds will keep the 'crete from setting up , ruining your project.
on your work surface make a mound of DAMP sand that fits the leaf's contours , place the leaf face DOWN on the mound.
Check for fit and adjust ... , remove leaf and cover the sand especially around the edge with plastic
or cover the whole area (saran wrap ,dry cleaner bags work)
*THIS is to keep the sand off of the concrete while working on the edge of your leaf*
replace leaf onto sand mound.
Mix the sand and cement well before adding water if using dry cement colorant add it here. Add liquid color or fortifier to the first amount of water that you mix in.
The mix should be the thick enough to squeeze a ball shape in your hand but not wet enough to drip .
Take small handful and start placing around the edge of the leaf and gradually working up to the middle or you can work the reverse way.
Small leaves should be 3/4 to 1 in. thick with a little more thickness in the middle toward the stem/center ( this is where a lot of stress fractures occur).
If the stem protrudes through the leaf, the resulting hole is plugged later on.
Cover the leaf with plastic . Small leaves only take a day to set-up. Turn carefully and gently peel the leaf off.
If leaf parts are sticking wait a few days, as the leaf bits dry they shrink making removal effortless..
Keep in a shady area , plastic covered and mist daily for a few days then remove the plastic & continuing to mist for 2 weeks .
(I like to do this part in the shade garden where it is damp and cool.)
After it is cured you can paint if desired. Cut the latex paint or stain with half with water .Let the paint cure before putting in it full sun.
Finished Rhubarb leaf, with different shades of blue & green, using acrylic paint, a sponge and spraying (when dry) with Acrylic satin finish spray for a sealer. I used deck stain for the vein staining and took the excesss off (after it dried) with steel wool, then the acrylic paint. I am really pleased with the way this turned out. If my friends & I can do it again, I can sell them at craft shows, as long as the plants have leaves.