There is nothing that adds a personal touch to a garden then your own concrete garden sculpture. Creating a sculpture from concrete isn’t nearly as complicated as one would thing and really requires no more than rolling up your sleeves and getting a little dirty.
Garden sculptures add a great deal of charm to a garden. Creating your own takes it to a whole other level and infuses a piece of your personality into the landscaping making for an overall bold statement.
Garden sculptures can be formed using any materials that will be able to handle weathering. Many people will create a natural looking sculpture such as an artfully-stacked pile of rocks or go with something more abstract such as angular forms created from treated wood.
My personal favorite when it comes to materials for garden sculptures has got to be concrete. It is cheap, easy to make and allows for myriad creations ranging from gnomes and Buddhas to birdbaths and abstract sculptures. Moreover, concrete will hold up to the elements and its stone look blends in well with the landscape, especially after a little.
When I first started making concrete sculptures, I remember being very intimidated; not having had any experience in the past. Once I got started, I had a blast as I am sure you will have. I put together some simple directions for mixing and sculpting concrete, I hope that you enjoy.
- Draw Out Your Design : I highly recommend that you draw out your sculpture on paper before anything else, especially if this is your first attempt at sculpture. If you are a beginner then try and keep things relatively simple emphasizing curves more than angles.
- Get A Bucket : Plastic buckets make the perfect molds for concrete. Purchase an appropriately sized bucket and cut it in half down the length. Cutting the bucket in half will make it easier to remove the concrete from the mold later. Once you have cut the bucket in half, tape it back together using duct tape. The bucket will be holding quite a bit of concrete so I recommend not being stingy on the duct tape.
- A Helping Of Vaseline : Before you add the concrete to the mold, add a thin layer of Vaseline to the interior of the bucket to prevent the concrete from sticking.
- Mix The Concrete : Purchase concrete and follow the directions provided by the manufacturer. Open the bag of dry concrete mix into a mortar box or whatever large sturdy container that you wish to use. Add the specified amount of water slowly and in increments to the concrete mix while mixing well with a shovel. The ideal consistency of concrete is that of thick oatmeal. The best way to test whether it is done is to make a nice pile of it and see whether it is able to hold its shape.
- Shovel Concrete Into The Mold : Shovel the concrete into the mold. After each shovelful, be sure to give the sides of the bucket mold a few gentle kicks to remove any air bubbles and make sure that the concrete fills the mold completely without any empty spaces or edges. Once the mold is full, simply flatten off the top with a ruler or other piece of straight wood.
- Wait For The Concrete To Set : The amount of time that it takes for concrete to set is dependent upon the amount of concrete, the humidity and the temperature. You can expect to have to wait anywhere from 5 to 11 hours.
- Remove The Concrete From The Mold : Once the concrete has set, simply pull off the duct tape and carefully separate the concrete from the mold. If the concrete is still a little crumbly then allow it to sit for an hour or so and try again. It is important to remember that once concrete has set, you only have a window of between 5 and 10 hours with which to work before the concrete gets too hard to carve.
- Get Carving : Once the concrete is ready to be worked with than grab a hammer, chisel and screwdriver and go to town. Start with small cuts while you are getting accustomed to working with the material.
- Cure Your Sculpture : Once you are done, you will have to cure your new concrete statue. Just keep the statue under a garbage bag or tarp for a week or so.
That’s it! Easy peasy! All that is left to do is put the concrete sculpture in your garden and you are all set to go.