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Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Concrete and Glass Center Vessel

As I mentioned earlier, the recycled glass dragonflies will all be above the ground and will appear to be flying towards a center concrete and glass vessel. Since I had not worked with concrete in a while, I thought it was best to make one or two smaller prototypes first. The final casting will be 32-36 inches across and about 4 inches thick.

I am going to dig a large hole in the center of the ground (see the photo of the mound in the park in a prior post) and fill it with a layer of sand. I will then spread out the wet concrete to a depth of two inches, add heavy chicken wire for reinforcement, then add two more inches of concrete. A tan colorant is being added to the wet concrete mixture to give it a more natural pond like look. Broken bits of tempered glass (both clear and colored with a blue enamel) will be added to the wet concrete mixture also. It will probably take a week to thoroughly set. I will gently sand the vessel to expose the glass bits. The vessel will have holes in it for drainage and will weigh over 200 lbs.

As you can see in the small test casting below, the look was really organic since I cast it in sand. It was cast upside down as well and flipped over after setting while the final one will be cast right side up in place. I need to make some adjustments to the next prototype. I attempted to mix some larger glass pieces into the casting but they were too large and the larger ones placed on the bottom fell off. So by mixing in the much smaller glass pieces, this should work much better. The things I expected to be the problem like the metal cage part and being able to cover it correctly were not a problem at all. The only issue is the glass size. The sample in the pic 16 inches and 1 3/4 inch deep.

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