What are the planters and sculptures made out of?
They are made from concrete. The mix includes Portland cement, vermiculite and masonry sand.
What is Vermiculite?
Vermiculite is the geological name given to a group of minerals which resembles mica in appearance. Vermiculite is a safe, inert material which is light in color. You probably seen it in potting soil. It adds bulk to the concrete while reducing the weight. It also has great insulating qualities and adds a nice warmth to the concrete.
Is it Hypertufa?
No, I don’t use peat moss in my mix. Hypertufa is actually more porous and lighter than my mix. The mix I use is very solid and stable. It is a mix that is used in construction. It is the same mix that is used to pour concrete floor.
How much do they weigh? They look really heavy.
Actually, while they do have a good weight they are not as heavy as they look. The medium planters are between 8 to 12 lbs. The larger planters are between 24-28 lbs.
How do you make them?
A concrete mix is poured into a mold. Approximately 6-8 hours later, I will take the concrete sculpture out of the mold and hand carve the details and work the surface. Attention is always paid to the eyes and facial expression.
So each planter is unique?
What is the mold made out of?
The mold is a rubber mold and a three piece outer epoxy, (a.k.a. mother) mold. The mother mold keeps it all together. I used a polyurethane mold rubber from Polytek Development Corp. and a two part epoxy resin from West Marine Systems.
Did you design and create the mold?
Yes and Yes.
Is it okay to leave the planter outside?
Yes, they were made to go outside. They can handle the outside environment. I do however recommend that the planters are taken in during the winter months. Over time, water would get into the pores of the concrete and exposure to freezing and thawing temperatures would cause cracking.
Can you plant right inside?
Does it have drainage?
Yes, each planter does have a drainage hole.
What is the patina?
The patina is a combination of various concrete acid stains, latex concrete stains or oil based stains. Numerous layers of stain are rubbed into and then rubbed off the concrete. Depending on the stain used, different sealers are applied. A water-base concrete sealer is applied on planters with an acrylic based stains. A beeswax finished is applied on planters with an oil based stain. A concrete waterproofer is used on natural unstained concrete.
Will the patina last?
Like any pigment, you can expect some gentle fading. Planters and sculptures exposed to direct sunlight will show signs of fading sooner.
Will it get its own natural patina?
Yes- concrete is a great surface for developing a moss-like patina.
Does the planter need any special care?
What happens if my planter gets a scratch or chip?
Occasionally a stained planter will get a scratch or chip. It does not affect the overall strength and integrity of the planter and usually adds to the natural weathered look of the planter. However if the scratch is located on the face and is not desirable, a dab of linseed oil will darken the exposed concrete and make the imperfections less noticeable.
How long have you been working in concrete?
I started working with concrete in 2008.