Making a totem form Part Two

The next step is to put a rough coat of cement on the parts.  Many make the mistake of making this too thick especially kids!  Children love to play in cement so you need to exercise a lot of control.  You just want to cover the mesh.  Cement gets heavy so you want to keep things as light as possible.  For small pieces I mix my own sand mix.  This is 1 part portland cement and 3 parts sand.  When I am covering a large project or having many projects going a once I just buy a 60lb bag of commercial sand mix.  Sometimes it is called topping mix.  You can buy smaller amounts at a local hardware store.  The big stores like Lowes only sell 60lb bags.  I think 40lbs is the smallest amount.  This is what I used this time since I have a lot of personal projects going on.  This is basically using a typical building construction technique (a house stucco finish) for art.  Artists can learn so much from the building trades.  Something to remember with cement work is anything loose in a form will crack.  It is a very forgiving medium but you want to try to make your forms as stable as possible.  Tomorrow I will brush off the excess with a course brush or an old file I only use for this work.



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