Making: Concrete madness

Sand + cement + stuffies = total entertainment!
This weekend I got going on a new project, making small concrete sculptures using actual stuffed animals as molds. Yep, that’s right I used the actual stuffed animal as the mold for the concrete. I got the idea last week at the Los Angeles Art Show. We saw a number of them at different booth’s and they were sooo cute/awesome/creepy! I decided I had to see how it all goes together. Before I get more creative with this project (combining different stuffed animals, making my own things out of fabric for molds I figured I would pick up some simple stuffed ones at the goodwill.

Here they are all empty and waiting to be filled back up again. It seemed important to get all the stuffing out of them and also to open up the ears so the concrete would go inside of there as well.
2010-10-miriamdemaI needed sand and I needed cement.
and a bunch of other stuff for mixing and safety:
plastic drop cloth
mixing bucket
measuring scoop
gloves
goggles
mask
sticks/poking like device
fishing line
needle
water
props for drying

That’s about it. I mixed the cement and sand together 1 to 2. It seemed to make a good mix, not too rough. I’ve never really done anything with concrete so I was pretty much winging it. I smooshed/pushed/ shoved the concrete mix into all of the holes. It was kinda tricky at times- geting the heads full and then the bodies and just manhandling them around was heavy. It was super fun though and sort of easy. Once they were full I would prop each one in a position so it would hopefully dry like that.

Usually I hate to share projects before they are done but what the heck- you can be as curious as I am if it’s gonna work out.
You know what? I filled them all full of concrete on saturday and they are still not dry! All day Saturday I would walk by them and gently poke at them to see whats up and they were still pretty wet. I think at this point I’m gonna let them sit until next saturday and basically just ignore them. It really hard though. I really want to unrwap them and see what they look like!

I have no idea how easy or hard the fur will be to get off the concrete.

A few thinks I already know or learned:
The fur is gonna stick in spots.
As will the eyes and noses because they have attachment points in back.
It will destroy the stuffed animal- i’ll prolly have to cut it off.
Sewing them up with thread does not work. Fishing line was required.
It took a lot more to fill each of them than I thought. At least 18 cups of dry material each.

The bear was way easier! Tails are to be avoided as there is no way to get the concrete into the narrow spaces very easily.

Kitten, Bear and Panther!

2010-11-miriamdema

2010-12-miriamdema

2010-13-miriamdemaThey are super awesome just at this point because they are so heavy feeling. and where you expect them to be soft and cuddly they are kinda hard and stiff!
I’ll let you know how they turn out!

This entry was posted in How-to's and tutorials..., Making: From Art to Craft....

4 Comments

  1. Joel February 1, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    the linger you cure the cement, the stronger it will be.

  2. sofia Every February 1, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

    Hi,
    I ended up here somehow, after seeing you response to “a week without plastics” (aug/09). I was trying to figure out a way to keep vegetables in the fridge without plastic bags, and got to that page somehow through google.
    Do the cloth bags work for you? I tried paper bags but my lettuces all wilted. Thanks for any input!

    Sofia

  3. Sarahliz February 1, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    I’m so looking forward to seeing these when they’re done.

    I think I might have a couple of teddy bears and maybe some other random stuff I could donate to the cause if you do more experiments.

  4. miriamdema February 2, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    hey sofia!
    blogs are funny like that.
    i have a bunch of light canvas bags that i put everything from the farmers market in. and yep, i usually just plop the bags straight into the crisper drawer. i have to keep an eye on them because the bags ‘hide’ the veggies. but it seems to work just fine and keeps me from using plastic bags. i use everything up each week though so that might help. good luck!