From year to year, the trend to decorate country gardens with amazing flower beds, waterfalls with cascades, winding paths and rock gardens is gaining momentum. When decorating his site, any owner wants not only to transform the territory, but to get the so-called effect so that it is not like everyone else. In order to make beautiful and original decorative elements, it is not at all necessary to spend fabulous sums. After renovation or construction, a small part of the cement and putty always remains. Why not use them for business? The original figures made of cement, made by hand, will act as a highlight of landscape design, making the site more attractive and interesting.
Just look at this magnificent garden decoration. An exquisite garden figure can easily be confused with the work of a professional master.
For many, the figure evokes interesting sensations that are difficult to express in words. It rather has a philosophical inner content, like figures for a garden in the style of Feng Shui.
The sculptural hand, in addition to its decorative value, also has a practical function. It acts as an original stand for a flower bed with ground cover and undersized plants.
To make a figure, we need:
The mortar is made from a mixture of cement and sand, maintaining a 3: 1 ratio, which we dilute with cold water to the consistency of thick sour cream. To give the concrete figure unusual colors, it is advisable to use special pigments. Dyes are added to the dry mixture at the kneading stage and only after that they are diluted with water.
To make a sculpture in the form of palms, take gloves and gradually fill them with a solution, trying to avoid the formation of voids with air. Then we put the filled gloves in a container, giving them the desired position.
Until the solution has frozen, you can safely experiment with the shape, choosing the most optimal option: simply closing your palms, folding their fist or interlocking your fingers together
You can increase the strength of the figure by installing a frame: insert pieces of wire into the compartments for fingers filled with a solution, taking care not to damage the rubber with sharp edges.
Having decided on the shape of the sculpture, we leave the gloves filled with the solution in the container for 2-3 days. During this time, the solution will harden and acquire sufficient strength.
When the cement is completely dry, cut the gloves and remove them from the surface of the figure. Remove the remaining rubber with scissors and tweezers. This step will take a lot of patience as the rubber will be removed in parts.
The original figure is ready. It remains only to choose a worthy place for her in the garden and fill it with a mixture for planting ground covers and succulents
We cover the concrete figure with a layer of putty, carefully leveling the surface, and again leave it to dry for several hours. At the final stage, it remains only to grind the surface of the palms and cover them with a strengthening impregnation.
Flowers poured out of concrete can be a bright decoration of the front part of the house or a recreation area. Harmoniously combined with green spaces, they look great both along the curb of winding garden paths, and against the backdrop of an emerald lawn.
The main advantage of such garden figures is their resistance to temperature extremes, due to which they are able to decorate the site for more than one season.
Making elegant concrete flowers is not at all difficult. To do this, it is necessary to prepare a form, which we will fill with a solution and the actual cement filler itself. The easiest way is to use ready-made silicone molds for baking. The variety of assortment of silicone molds is quite extensive.
From silicone blanks, you can make flowers of all kinds of shapes and sizes: starting with ordinary field daisies and ending with multi-petal chrysanthemums and dahlias
To make concrete flowers, we need:
As forms, some craftsmen also use plastic bottles cut along the length, cut halves of rubber balls and other containers of a suitable size.
Since the key detail in creating colors from concrete is the shape, in order to be able to reuse it, the inner walls must be coated with machine oil or linseed oil. To increase the adhesion of the finished mixture and lighten the weight of the figure itself, it is advisable to add pieces of expanded clay to the solution.
We fill the form with a solution, tamping the contents as it fills. Grasping the edges of the mold, you need to shake it a little so that bubbles with excess air from the solution appear on the surface.
Cover the form filled to the brim with plastic wrap and leave it for a couple of days until it hardens in a dry place hidden from direct sunlight. After the concrete has acquired sufficient strength, we take the flower out of the workpiece and lay it out on a flat surface. It takes from 4 to 6 days to completely dry the figure in a shaded place. For now, we can fill the vacated form again, forming the next flower.
To prevent the formation of cracks on the surface of the flower, it is recommended to moisten the hardened figure with water once a day. In the event that a crack does appear, it is not difficult to correct the situation by covering the flaw with a liquid cement mortar. In order to increase the strength of the finished concrete flower, its surface should be treated with a strengthening impregnation, which can be purchased at the construction center.
To decorate a flower made of concrete, it is better to use acrylic paints, which are able to maintain the brightness of the flower throughout the season.
The choice of shades when decorating a flower depends on the color palette of the flower bed and the taste preferences of the master himself.
A variegated turtle, settling in a suburban area, will help create that special atmosphere of coziness and comfort.
With its presence, the tortoise Tortilla will certainly cheer up and delight children and guests of the site
To implement the idea, you need to prepare:
The size of the figure depends only on the idea of the master and the amount of materials required. Having chosen a place to place the figure, we align the platform for its placement.
We form a small hill from the stones, which outwardly resembles the torso of a turtle. To equip the paws of the figure at the level of the lower row of stones, we lay metal rods, which in the future will serve as the frame of the structure. On the same frame, you can plant the turtle's head, or lay it on the ground. After the bottom row is laid and the metal rods are inserted, we cover it with cement mortar. All voids between stones should be filled and compacted with cement. By the same principle, we lay out the subsequent rows, carefully fixing the stones.
Having laid out the body, we proceed to the manufacture of the legs and head of the animal. We select small stones and lay them out in a heap around the rods. To fix the stones and give the desired semicircular shape to the legs and head of our character, it is better to use a solution of a thicker consistency. After we have formed and fastened the paws of the figure, we proceed to the finishing work. To do this, we level the surface and plaster it with a more liquid cement mortar. Spread sea pebbles on the not yet solidified layer of cement.
Flat, smooth pebbles will perfectly imitate carapace plates. To fix the pebbles in the shell, it is enough to slightly press them into the plaster layer.
Leave the finished figure for 2-3 days to dry completely. After the concrete has hardened, the body and shell can be painted with special pigments, and flat sea pebbles with acrylic paints.
It's not all that difficult. A little imagination and patience - and a new memorable character will appear on your site, which will become a successful addition to landscape design.
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John P. Kennedy's crocodile farm has nothing to do with popular amusement parks in Thailand and Cuba, and John himself is not related to the famous Kennedy clan. John P. Kennedy is a concrete animal sculptor.
Several years ago, John received an order from Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA to create a 14ft 5in (about 4m 40cm) concrete alligator sculpture.
First of all, John went to the Internet to look at pictures of alligators. Then John created sketches of the reptile at a scale of 1:10 in three angles - from the side, from the top and from the side of the muzzle.
Since the sculpture was supposed to be made of concrete and have impressive dimensions, in order to reduce the weight of the sculpture, John decided to first make a frame, and then fill it with concrete 2.5 inches (6.35 cm) thick.
The outlines of the animal (top view) were first drawn on paper and then transferred to a thick sheet of plywood. Wheels were attached to the bottom of the plywood sheet for the convenience of rotating the sculpture and moving it.
Then semicircular “partitions” were made from the same plywood. If it were not for the outlines of the crocodile, then one might well think that John was planning to build a model of a sailing ship.
At the next stage, all the gaps between the plywood partitions were filled with polystyrene.
Now it is time to create a "skeleton" of reinforcement and galvanized mesh and wire.
To imitate crocodile skin and muzzle elements, templates and stencils were prepared in advance. Just in case, there were always close-up photos of the reptile at hand.
Finally, it's time to work with concrete. According to preliminary estimates, the total time for casting and creating a concrete sculpture should have been about 12 hours, excluding work interruptions.
To begin with, a concrete mixture was selected and prepared, fine-grained sand was used as a filler. When creating the first layer of concrete sculpture, fine gravel was added to the mixture.
After casting the sculpture, John and his assistants had 2 weeks (while the concrete was still wet) to texture, color and make the alligator look as natural as possible.
After the completion of all the work, the reptile was transported to the zoo so that visitors, especially children, can enjoy the wonderful work of John P. Kennedy and his team.
Related links: Official site of sculptor John P. Kennedy Elmwood Park Zoo
Permanent link to article "Crocodile Farm" by John P. Kennedy
Tags: Elmwood Park Zoo, John P. Kennedy, concrete sculptures
The most important condition in creating decorative jewelry is a sense of style. First, outline a style direction for yourself (taking into account the size of the territory, the style of the garden and your own preferences). All ideas for decorating a garden plot can be divided into two groups:
Almost no garden or park can do without garden sculptures made of a variety of materials. The easiest way is to order the production of an ordinary mushroom or a fascinating castle for professionals. It is more interesting to make a figure or composition with your own hands. Different materials are suitable for garden crafts: wood, stones, plaster. However, the most durable will undoubtedly be large or small forms made of concrete. How to make such sculptures yourself using the simplest technologies?
A self-made concrete sculpture may look more original than a custom-made one.
For those who have never made concrete figures with their own hands, you can start with the simplest thing - make a concrete fungus yourself. Painted with bright colors, it will be appropriate in the garden area, and on the playground, and near the entrance of an apartment building.
Concrete for crafts should be like butter: not so liquid that it drips, but not so thick that it can be sculpted from it.
Fungus is the simplest concrete sculpture for beginners.
If the work will be carried out in the summer, then for the mushroom cap it is recommended to make a depression in the sand (best of all with a bowl resembling a hat), put a burdock leaf on its bottom. The leaf will give the future sculpture wrinkles and irregularities that resemble the real structure of the cap. If the sculpture is made of concrete in winter, then you can simply wrap a suitable bowl with cellophane and pour concrete. After about half an hour, a few nails or a piece of pipe should be inserted into the center of the cap, if the cap is very large. This will improve the bond, make the figure stronger. Now you can work on the leg, and leave the finished product until it dries completely.
For the leg, we first make a form: an old roofing felt, linoleum, a plastic bottle, any other, a variety of materials that can be rolled up into a tube and filled with a solution are suitable. You will also have to deepen the reinforcement in the middle of the leg. When both halves are dry, sprinkle the stem of the mushroom with wet sand, tamp it well, fill the joint with a solution, set the cap. In 3-4 days, the simplest sculpture is ready. It remains to paint it and install it in the right place.
See also: Construction of aerated concrete bath
If the sculpture is supposed to be small, then it can be made in the workshop, and if a large structure is planned, it is better to do it at the installation site.
Such products can be of different sizes. Large ones will completely replace sculpture in the garden. Little ones can decorate a house or apartment. In order to make an interesting shape out of concrete with your own hands, you will need:
Important: if the finished flowerpot is not removed from the mold, it will have to be broken. That is why it is not recommended to use exclusive vessels to create statues.
Simple manufacturing technologies differ little from the previous one. The form is sprayed with a non-stick spray, poured with a solution, tamping it with a metal rod so that all air bubbles come out. After drying, the flowerpot is removed from the mold and painted. Vases made in the form of sculptures look great. For their production, shaped hollow vessels can be used as forms: plastic or glass bottles of various shapes.
Using a metal frame, you can make a sculpture of any complexity.
This method can be used by people who are good at working with concrete and have minimal creative skills.Using reinforcement, you can make a sculpture of any complexity, be it an antique statue, a fairy-tale character or an enchanted castle. This is how sculptors create their masterpieces. However, this technology is simplified as much as possible, therefore, with its help, even a schoolboy can make a decoration from concrete with his own hands if he has a developed spatial imagination.
See also: Making a sculpture from concrete
If the conceived concrete figure has small shapes and low weight, it can be made in the workshop, and then transferred to the place of permanent deployment. However, if you plan to build a heavy structure, you will have to do it either right at the installation site (and this is possible only in warm weather), or think over a mechanism by which the finished product will be installed in place.
Another simple sculpture is the Guardian.