Monday, December 12, 2011

A mold in a mold......

Every once in a while I get an idea! Actually it was someone who sent a picture of their work in hypertufa and I adapted it to my process. I call it a mold in a mold. It gives me a chance to mold the inside and outside at the same time. 

I have simply taken a dollar store three compartment party tray and taped it to a base then built a simple box to surround it. All the wood is put together with screws and can be disassembled to remove the completed project from the mold. As usual I coat the inside of the mold with vegetable oil applied with a small paint brush which keeps everything from sticking together as it dries.

You can see the finished project is multidimensional and could be used many different ways. My original idea was to include three assorted bags of bird feed and sell it as a bird feeder. With the addition of drainage holes for each compartment it would make a nice container to display an assortment of succulents. The finished project is 16 by 8 with compartments that are 2 inches deep.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pots with Feet.....

Folks who stop to look at our products are always interested in the footed pots. Here are a few ideas on how we make them happen.
I first begin by creating an insert to place in the bottom of whatever I'm using for a mold. Many things can be used for this purpose but I use OSB available at any building supply store. I have also used insulation foam board, flat sheet styrofoam but since I like to make the same pot many times my personal favorite is OSB.

Place the insert into your mold. The insert will create voids which will become feet when you fill your mold.

Once you have your mold filled and had been allowed to dry a day or two you can remove the pot from the mold and carefully remove the insert which leaves molded feet on your container.
Once the insert is removed make sure to clean it before moving on to another project. Leave your pot to dry thoroughly then you will be able to finish the feet with a piece of course sandpaper. A little practice will make the task much simpler and you can develop your own style.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Toy......

It was Halloween season and my son called one evening from a big box store. He was shopping for Halloween candy and ran across a tool to remove the pulp from a pumpkin. Well the apple didn't fall far from the tree. He said, "Dad, I found something you are going to have to try". His thought was this might be a good paper pulping tool. He was right.
Google "Pumpkin Gutter"  they are available several places on the internet. Read and follow safety instructions. The tool works great to pulp paper in small batches. I've been using the Gutter it in a 1/4 inch light weight drill and making pulp from well soaked paper has been a breeze.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Featured............

I was presently surprised when the June issue of Greene Magazine came out. One of the articles was about papercrete. I knew the editor had been asking quite a few questions about the craft but did not realize that the article was going to the press. You can read the article here

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Teaching and Vending.....

Each year Peggy and I travel to conventions and horticultural events nationwide to teach about and sell our products. One of our favorite early season haunts is the Hosta College in Piqua, Ohio. The Great Lakes Region Hosta Society entertains four hundred plus attendees each March to a wide selection of gardening related classes, plant vendors, and a lot of hosta hospitality. It has been our privilege to teach and vend at the event for the last few years. During that time we have introduced many gardeners to the art of Papercrete.


Papercrete.....

In any given year a little over 55 percent of paper created in the United States is discarded. That amounts to 48 million tons or the equivilent of 720 million trees that are used once and then buried in a landfill. Here is an idea which you can use to turn discarded paper into something useful! Using a simple recipe of paper pulp, portland cement, and various other ingredients you can create weatherproof containers for planting or a variety of sculptures.