Serendipity! Shortly after my field trip to make concrete sculptures with my middle school art students, I got a call from an artist friend asking me to come over to make hypertufa. I'd heard about these concrete garden planters, but knew nothing about how to make them, so of course I said yes to that idea! Cathy Jeffers is known mostly for her fiber arts, especially her art quilts, but she has no fears or reservations when it comes to trying something new.
Cathy had already figured out a good mix...concrete, perlite (or vermiculite), and peat moss, with enough water to make a clay-like modeling consistency. I had some ceramic tiles and faux sea glass to add a little subtle bling, which is something I personally cannot resist! Although my intended garden stepping stone was a complete failure because it got stuck in the cookie tin mold and broke into pieces, I'm quite pleased with my other two hypertufa, especially the square one.
My interest was first piqued when I took my Muse Machine arts club students to a cement sculpture workshop at K12 Gallery in Dayton. Since the group was small, just sixteen middle school students, my co-advisor and I were able to do a little sculpting of our own. Finally...a lesson planned and carried out by someone else...with time for me to just play along!
Now I need to figure out what to do to complete my piece! My inspiration was a painting that hangs in my mother's home, part of my father's collection of Native American art. "Butterfly Woman" shows a woman dancing in a swirl of colors during a festival celebration. I've always loved the painting and decided to create a cement sculpture that is part woman and part butterfly. All she needs now is some colorful beadwork in the turquoise, orange, and other colors of the American Southwest.
For now, Butterfly Woman remains unadorned, as I am off visiting my grandchildren for the next week.