Dec 212011
 
Bark Sculpture on Faux Bois Bench

Sculpted Bark

The second step in making Faux Bois is pressing the concrete mixture into the wire armature.  You can see three steps in the pictures in this Blog entry.  On the right side of the bench above and in the picture below, you’ll see one coat of concrete.

Concrete forced through wire armature

Concrete forced through wire armature

  I began with the supporting legs and the back.

Second coat of concrete on Faux Bois Bench

Second coat, beginnings of bark

I didn’t immediately cover the entire bench with concrete, because I wanted to keep it from getting too heavy to lift.  I was working in my garage here in early October, with winter coming on, heating the space with an electric heater, using daylight, when it was available, and reflector lights, when it wasn’t.  The heaviest part of the bench will be the seat, so I left that concrete free for the moment.  After the initial layer of concrete had cured, I began laying on a second coat. You can see a sort of Red Pine look on the right cross-support.  In the top picture, I’ve decided I wanted Ash bark instead.

At this point, I have the entire bench covered in concrete.  It is sitting in a corner of my garage for the time being.  I’m hoping I can arrange a better (read warmer and brighter) place to work on it over the winter, but if I can’t, it will simply live in my garage until spring.

Dec 202011
 
Armature with diamond lathe for Faux Bois Bench

Armature with diamond lathe for Faux Bois Bench

I have been planning to make a Faux Bois Bench for my husband Matt’s gravesite since he died in April of 2010.  Last autumn, when I made the Faux Bois Table Base or Stool — it could be used for either purpose — it was a practice effort.  I wanted especially to practice making believable bark with acid stains on sculpted concrete.  This summer I designed a sturdy bench and my welder friend, Gerald, made the armature with rebar.  I then, cut the diamond lathe and wired it on using picture-hanging wire.

 

Rebar Armature for Faux Bois Bench

Rebar Armature for Faux Bois Bench

This is the armature of rebar that Gerald welded.  It was modified somewhat after this.  The seat was made deeper; a crossbar was inserted in back as in front; and several more diagonal supports were added.