For the second week’s assignment for my Intro to Fabrication class, we had to create 5 identical objects. The aim was to learn the process of creating replicas.
As I have just moved to a new apartment and I am really looking forward to fill my place with plants, I thought right away of making vases. Also, since in my last project I only used paper (besides the circuit to make the lantern), I wanted to challenge myself and work with different materials. Specially materials that I have never worked before.
I love this “Pinterest” concrete vases. And it seemed interesting to work with concrete. As I also wanted to test my skills Miter Saw and wood – since it looks a bit scary but at the same time cool to play with. In spite of that, by working with copper tape last week I really got into the idea of bringing to my house something with copper color. There is something about this industrial style that is very visually appealing.
So the first idea was to create a concrete square shaped vase, with a wood square bottom as a base. This wooden base, I would spray paint – something I also have never done before – with copper color spray. And the result should be similar to the picture above.
Step 1 – Getting the materials
There are a considerable amount of youtube tutorials and blog posts on how to make those vases. This one was my main reference.
As I googled where to buy concrete, Home Depot was the first answer. So Friday I headed to the store where I purchased my plants ( I was lucky to find tiny ones so I could make the small square shaped vases I wanted ), a high piece of wood – that had the width to fit the tiny vases and have spare space for the concrete borders, a pre-mixed bucket of refined concrete, Copper color all-materials spray paint, and Gorilla Glue, to glue the wooden bottom to the concrete in the end.
Step 2 – Making the mold & adding concrete
I spared my Sunday afternoon to make this project. In the video tutorial it was mentioned that you needed 24h to take it out from the mold, and 48h for it to completely dry. So I thought that by doing it on Sunday I would be safe.
For this assignment we were not able to use the laser cutter. Therefore, to make the mold I did it first on Photoshop, printed it in regular a4 paper , cut by hand. I chose a cardboard from ITP’s shop cardboard shelf, and, as I was really worried to make a stable mold (in the tutorial video one of the errors the Youtuber mentions is that at first she used a very light cardboard and thus it collapsed) I made the questionable choice of picking a thick one – later you’ll understand why.
I out the a4 paper mold on top of it and cut 5 molds of cardboards with a knife. I assembled the little squares, and also, being afraid of it collapsing, made a really safe enclosure with the Glue Guns and tape. This may have also been a questionable move.
After that, I put vaseline in the insides of the vases. Also, I got the little plastic vases of the plants to use it as the holes to put my succulents in. I added the concrete and everything came together. Now I just had to let it dry, and hope for the best.
Step 3 – Getting it out of the mold (after 72h and still not dry) & making the wooden base
Since Sunday, I kept checking everyday on my five concrete baby vases to see if they were ready to come out to the real world. This was when I noticed that was something wrong with what I did with my mold: I made it so still, stable and enclosed that there was barely space for air to come in. Thus, it wasn’t drying. So Wednesday afternoon I decided to take it off and let it dry without the molds, even if with this I had to embrace a lot of imperfections since parts of the concrete would glue on the cardboard, that was really hard to get off.
Meanwhile, I made the wooden bases. And it was incredibly fun and successful to work with the Miter Saw – at least something was working out!
So this is how my not yet dry vases were looking so far:
I sanded the wooden squares to ass paint and spray painted with my new favorite color.
Step 4 – Waiting for it to dry and hoping for the best
My plants are still homeless, but I’m sure the concrete WILL dry at some point and they will be soon sitting in cute copper trendy industrial like vases.
[to be continued…]