On Wednesday, I "cooked up" the hypertufa recipe for a small garden pot:
(1) part Portland cement
(1&1/2) parts perlite
(1&1/2) parts peat moss
A big splash (about 1/2 cup) of concrete acrylic fortifier
Don't forget to wear gloves.
After ingredients were mixed to the consistency of brownie batter, I plopped a couple of handfuls into the bottom of a 2&1/2 quart plastic container. The interior of the container had been sprayed with cooking oil for easy release after the cement dries.
A second smaller container was also sprayed and set on top of the mix in the first container.
Then more cement mix was added to this "official" flower pot mold in the space between the two containers.
The pot was filled to the top with the cement,
covered with plastic wrap and set aside in the garage.
This morning (two days later), I removed the molds and revealed the small flower pot. The bottom of the pot was still wet, so I carefully picked it up and took it into the studio to photograph it. But I didn't put it down carefully enough.
I still had leaf castings to unmold.
For the leaf castings, the recipe was a little different.
equal parts of Portland cement and sandbox sand with a splash of acrylic fortifier and enough water to get more "brownie mix."
I didn't have access to a rhubarb leaf, which is what many people use, but I found these pretty leaves next to my front porch.
I found an old box bigger than the leaf. Then I scooped a bunch of sand into the box. The sand was mounded, covered with plastic wrap and the leaf was placed on top of it - face down.
The leaf was covered with the cement mix; a heavier amount was laid on the spine of the leaf (about 1/2 inch) and thinner amounts towards the edges of the leaf. The leaf was covered with plastic and placed in the garage. I also did a second smaller leaf.
The leaves were taken out of the garage today. I cracked off bottom pieces of BOTH of them.
So, what lessons did I learn?
Be mindful when choosing leaves.
The mounded sand on which the leaves sit should have been wet to hold the shape. The weight of the cement on the second leaf collapsed the mound. The leaf came out pretty flat.
Next time, I will crimp and flute the edges of the leaf (like a pie crust) to get a more elegant final shape.
Will I do this again? Yes.
Hope to have a few more next week - minus all those directions.
It was a bit gloomy today, but the sun just popped out and the birds started singing, the bees are buzzing, and the flowers are growing.
All's right with the gardening world.