If you're into arts and crafts and interested in working in concrete art, learning how to create your own simple statues is a great first step. It's a relatively easy way to get your feet wet, learn how to properly mix concrete, create a mold, and craft the concrete.
Creating The Statue Mold
While some expert concrete artists can create statues directly in concrete, newer concrete artists should create a small clay mold over which to pour the concrete. Creating your own statue mold is a much easier process for most artists to master.
Decide on the size of your statue and purchase an appropriate amount of sculpting clay. For small statues (no more than a foot or two tall), a five-gallon bucket should be more than enough. Use your hands to carefully sculpt the mold into which you will later pour your concrete. Let it harden overnight and then use a small skill saw to cut it in exact halves.
Mixing The Concrete
After successfully creating your statue mold, you can move on to mixing the concrete. Add your ingredients in a portable concrete mixer in the following ratio: one part cement, three parts sand, three parts aggregate (gravel), and one part water. The size of each "part" depends on the size of the project: for a small statue, a "part" can be one five-gallon bucket or two.
Turn on your mixer, and use your shovel to keep the concrete from sticking to the sides of the mixer. It shouldn't take much more than several minutes. You'll know it's finished when the concrete has a thick, sticky texture. Now you're ready to start pouring the concrete in the mold.
Pouring The Concrete
After you've finished mixing your concrete, you can pour it over your mold. Start by calculating how much concrete you will need. Measure the depth, width, and height of your statue with a tape measure. Multiply the three measurements to find the required cubic feet required for your statue.
Now, you need to place a tarp on the ground outside your home (to catch falling cement) and place your mold in the center. Wheel your concrete mixer over to the mold, use the tilting lever to pour, and fill both halves of the mold with concrete. Pour slowly to avoid too much spillage. Use a trowel to even out the concrete on both halves and to remove excess concrete.
Once you've finished pouring, have some friends help you press the two halves of your mold together properly. Some concrete will come out between the cracks: wipe it away with a trowel. Take your mold in a dry place (such as a garage) and let it sit overnight. Then, pull the mold away from the finished statue to finish.
Once you've mastered this process, you can move on to making more complex statues. Keep pushing yourself to try new things and soon you'll be making your own cool concrete statues in no time. Contact a local outlet, such as Van Doren Red-E-Mix, for further assistance.