|Joseph & Sari Grove||
The Bee found a home in a garden...This sculpture represents the first really workable no-weld armature design that I was able to come up with...It also represents the last piece I did in my custom concrete mix before I decided to try to innovate into cultured marble mixes...The surface treatment was also new for me, the gold powder mixed with "milk" (a latex adhesive liquid that looks like milk), brushed gently into the the still wet cement...Under the gold is a more specific bee-like painted on series of markings, so as the gold fades, if it does, the purple markings will peer through, making the Bee look more Bee-like over time, instead of less...
A quick recap of these processes:
Materials:10-24 threaded galvanized steel rods
12-24 galv. steel bolts (I went up a size for ease of use)
Aluminum screen mesh in black
Strong kitchen scissors
A flange from plumbing supply & a black steel 'nipple' also to fit into the flange
Custom Concrete Mix by Sari:
Materials: 4 Parts white Portland cement
2 parts aggregate: (within those two parts aggregate I put)* I part alkaline resistant 3/4 inch glass fibres
* 1 part Aragonite sand(which is actually marble sand)
Note: I dropped the white silica sand out of my mix because I like the stickiness of more marble...But white silica sand does add strength so you can add substitute some of that into your aggregate proportions if you want something stronger...
-I also dropped the Perlite out of my aggregate mix...The Perlite is if you want your sculpture to be lighter in weight...But Perlite also increases fragility, which worried me...But I did use in the later stages of "Swanee" because the work was getting way too heavy for a human to lift...So for that it is indispensable...
Materials: I integrally mixed a purple colour mineral silicate paint for cement right into the custom concrete mix...I also painted some of this colour directly into the wet concrete in a stripey bee shaped pattern...On top of that, the final layer is gold powder mixed with Latex adhesive liquid (milk), brushed gently in with a high quality natural bristle shaving brush that was brand new out of the box(a used shaving brush is kind of gross)...
Materials: A good quality respirator for fumes...The kind that looks weird with the two canisters on either side & you look like an alien...A dust mask is NOT sufficient for this kind of work...Really...You will get headaches if you just use a dust mask...Use a respirator mask...It is worth it...Really...Really...Gloves...You need something thicker than surgical gloves...Surgical gloves will rip...Even dishwashing gloves are fine...
I use a cat litter box, those rectangular plastic things, to mix the concrete in...Bring a large container of water to have nearby so you don't run out while you are dirty & don't need to mess up your taps by refilling while dirty...Put your digital camera nearby so when you finish work for the day you can document what you did...There is not much online about technique so you can help others by teaching your discoveries...I wear Oakley clear lens shield frameless sunglasses as my safety glasses...Please wear glasses...You really need them as the cement will dry out your eyes...I have goggles too but they can fog up & they are a little constrictive with the respirator on too...When you finish work for the day, take all your clothes off & take a long bath & scrub & dip underwater, open your eyes, & let your eyes re-hydrate...I also use eyedrops in copious amounts after getting out of the bath- just a simple over the counter lube saline solution just to make sure my eyes are well lubricated...This will clean out particulate & make sure dryness is not a problem in the future...
Me...I'm Sari...I like feeding waterbirds in winter...They give me freedom & I give them wild bird seed...