Hypertufa Sculptures

algykrebbs(z7 TN)June 22, 2004

I've been a longtime reader of this forum and have learned enough here that I spent last summer making sculptures out of hypertufa. Here are some fountains I made using your advice.

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nckvilledudes(7a NC)

Wow those are fantastic!!! I am assuming you sculpted them? Did you embed a pipe in the middle to run your water through? Thanks for any details. Also is that your hypertufa stones that encircle your pond?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 6:26AM
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allenco(78480)

Very nice indeed!
Did you have a mold, or did you just build it up with your hand?
Is it hollow or solid?
More details would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 8:43AM
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GAPeach50

I am amazed! Those are just wonderful. You are so talented.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 9:40AM
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Anela(Z6 Ks.)

Ok I know I haven't been posting much lately but ya have to give details! Those are fantastic!!! :O) and I love the sculpting method way more then doing molds so please tell the basics of your process? As soon as I get my BB done I will be working on a series of "little Ladies" for my front yard...HOPEFULLY!!!! Thanks for any information.
Anela

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 10:57AM
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MsStFrancis2U(z4 IA)

Those are fantastic! I've not done anything with hypertufa YET, but I desperately want to make a fountain. I just have 100 other projects that I'm in the middle of that I have to finish before I begin another. :)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 11:03AM
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Jilly_W(On. 6b)

Just love your sculptures, I am not talented in the sculpture dept. but I love the tall one on the left at the back. Think I could manage something like that. As Anela and the others say, please more details as to how you made them.

Jilly :)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 11:59AM
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TnTallgal(z7 Tn)

Count me in as saying they are awesome too! And of course would love to hear how you made them!

Beth:)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 12:28PM
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Cheannbal

We need details, Algy! Beautiful sculptures!

Cheryl

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 5:17PM
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Dena6355(z8 WA)

Extremely playful and timeless creations. If you are willing to share set up design and mix that would be great for those embarking on a similar project. If you took pictures as you went along I would love to see them.
Thanks for sharing, what is in store for this year?
happy casting it is soooooooooooo fun, and rewarding, Dena

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 10:44PM
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algykrebbs(z7 TN)

Thanks for the nice words. I'll try to answer the questions so of you asked. They are all constructed over a hardware cloth armature that I make which approximates the shape I'm after. Then over a period of days I build up thin layers of tufa until I get the shape and thickness I desire. Then I carve the last layer while still pretty green. Since I use an armature, they are all hollow so I can run tubing or pvc through them when they're finished curing so they can be plumbed for fountains.

The tufa stones around the edge I built over a lumber form I constructed. Since the pond was 6' x 6' (framed with 2 x 10 pressure treated lumber), I built and mitered the tufa to that size. Once all four pieces were done, I installed it and made capstones on the corners. One fun idea I tried was to leave a little hidden recess behind the pond-side lip where I strung rope lighting that gives the pond an eerie glow.

The big fake stone edges cracked because I didn't have the tufa built up thick enough, but I easily repaired them on location with more tufa and a bonding agent.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 11:25PM
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algykrebbs(z7 TN)

Dena, sorry, I didn't take pictures. My mix is usually 1 portland, 3 peat and sand, poly fibers, silica fume. For the last layers I go 1:1:1 and add Elmer's wood glue as a fortifier. Now I'm beginning to play with styrofoam armatures covered with drywall mesh and a concrete slurry. Waiting to get some white portland before I do anything big so I can try poly-chroming the finished pieces.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2004 at 11:39PM
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algykrebbs(z7 TN)

Jilly, here's a better pic of the fountain you like.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2004 at 1:43AM
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Jilly_W(On. 6b)

Just beautiful - thanks for the pic. You really do some lovely and interesting pieces.

Jilly :)

    Bookmark   June 23, 2004 at 8:15AM
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Georgia_on_my_mind(8 WC Ga)

All I can say is WOW!!! Thanks for sharing. I love them all. Georgia

    Bookmark   June 23, 2004 at 9:07AM
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Buddyfly(4A/4B Ont)

WOW to the 'nth' degree!

Marly

    Bookmark   June 23, 2004 at 10:17AM
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Gardener_boy(z4CO)

You got it goin'! Creative and fun pieces.
Curious as to what poly-chroming is? And what does the silica add to your mix? Strength? Smoothness?
Questions, questions!
Thanks, G.B.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2004 at 10:45AM
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peakpoet

Awesome job, algykrebbs! Thanks for sharing... finally! ;-)

OMG I just had a flash - imagine if you and Anela got together for a project?!? Now that's skeery! LOL

peak

    Bookmark   June 23, 2004 at 4:55PM
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algykrebbs(z7 TN)

Gardner boy, poly-chroming was a poor choice of words, what I meant was coloring a piece with "many colors." From what I understand, silica fume is a "pozzolanic" material that makes the tufa mix stronger because it is made up of micro particles that fit into the molecular gaps between the cement and the aggregate. I bought some from a supply house in Hollywood for special effects artists but I don't have the link handy. They mix it with latex as a filler/extender. It's cheap but I have no clue if it really does what is claimed with tufa. For that matter, I read here that Elmer's glue was the poor man's polymer additive. Has anybody else tried Elmer's?

peak, Anela is the tufa standard of excellence so I'm very flattered.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 12:39AM
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eva1429(z5IL)

WOW! FANTASTIC, algykrebbs! You have a real talent for sculpture. If you get a chance, please take pictures of your styrofoam armatures covered with drywall mesh. We could learn from you.

Thanks,
Eva

P.S. Please tell me these weren't your first pieces. Great job!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 9:27AM
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Anela(Z6 Ks.)

Algykrebbs,
WOW I absolutely love that one in the second picture also!! fantastic carving it looks egyption love it love it love it!!! Since I don't seem to be able to get a chance to get out there and start ANY kind of project yet would ya MAKE ME ONE!!!! :o)........LOL I'll be out there soon and the more I see hand sculpted gorgeous pieces like this the more I'm itchen to p-l-a-y........Keep creating you are VERY talented!

Anela

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 9:39AM
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Datdog(z7 NJ)

What a fantastic job! Love the gal with the bikini top. I also like how you grouped them all together.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 10:18AM
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Anela(Z6 Ks.)

Algykrebbs,
"Tufa standard of excellence" ( I just saw that) Me? wow, thank you very much I don't know if I would go that far but that was very sweet. Guess I better get busy huh lol! Haven't done much exellent anything this year so far ;O). But all the talent here is definitely making my to do list much longer!
Anela

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 12:21PM
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Louisiana_greetings(z8LA)

Algykrebbs, I don't know how I missed your post, BUT those are the neatest!! You must take pics of your work step by step and show them.OK? There is so much goin on with this tufa, I have a hard time keeping everything straight, guess I'm goin to have post its on puter as well as fridge, dash, and counter;)
Bonnie:)

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 2:01PM
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klinger(8)

All your fountains were great, thanks so much for sharing them with us.I also am inspired now to do some sculpting, you did fabulous work on all of them Cindy

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 10:31AM
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leigh_wi(Z5 WI)

Algykreggs,
Awesome!
Leigh

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 1:43PM
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oldherb(z8 Oregon)

Regarding Elmer's glue...The folks at "Little and Lewis" use Elmer's carpenter's glue as their binding agent.

By the way I really love your fountains!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 12:42PM
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eva1429(z5IL)

Hi, algykrebbs,

Just wondering if you're planning to do any large sculptures with styrofoam armatures. I enjoyed seeing your masks.

Your hypertufa fountains are wonderful!

Eva

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 8:15AM
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handsdirty(z5 OH)

algykrebbs,
Sorry I missed your post. WOW your fountain sculptures are FANTASTIC! Great job! Thanks for sharing your pictures.

It's just amazing how talented and creative everyone here is with hypertufa medium. I'm just astounded!!!!!!!! I hope I do as well as everyone here.

Sandy:)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 2:51PM
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gomanngo

Algykrebs,

These are amazing!

I'd love to save these pics for future reference since I probably won't be able to work my way into anything that large till at least next year (other household projects ahead of tufa)...when I try to save them they always come out so TINY that you can't really see them (including the one where you drew the diagrams). Is there any way to load them again so they can be saved in the same size we see them on this thread?

Thanks,
Li

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 3:11PM
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GreenFeet

Algykrebs, Do you have any plans to visit the Great Northwest anytime soon? I have lots of raw materials, plenty of room for you to create, and a few just perfect spots in my yard for some of your totally awsome scluptures! In fact I think we should have a HYPERTUFA CONVENTION in my back yard. EVERYONE come on down and bring your talents. I will supply the hot dogs and potato salad. And because I am soooo generous I will do ya'll the favor of keeping all your creations right here so you don't have to bother with trying to ship all that extra weight home. LOL!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2004 at 5:47PM
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algykrebbs(z7 TN)

Thanks, oldherb. If Elmer's is good enough for them :)

Eva, yes, I'm going to make some big sculptures but I'm delayed because my source for styrofoam was hit by 90 mph winds and is temporarily shut down

Li, I don't know why the pics are shrunk when you save them. Try this: Hit ALT-PRINT SCREEN and paste them into an image editor.

Greenfeet, I was packing my bags until I reread your post and realized there was no offer of free beer. Man can not live on hotdogs and tufa alone.

Thanks for all the nice posts.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2004 at 1:54AM
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lazydaisy(z7 NTX)

bump

    Bookmark   September 1, 2004 at 2:33PM
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Longlocks(z6 PA)

Hey Lazy thanks for BUMPING this one, I missed it the first time around!

Algykrebs: I was a bit puzzled by your lighting comments...I was thinking now HOW could there be any glow from those lights when they are covered by the TUFA...but as I looked at it I realized the BRILLIANCE of your design! The lights are covered by the tufa, but the light is able to travel downward...and thus the GLOW of those lights is downward into the pond, right? It must look really kewl!

Again, absolutely a brilliant idea!

I wanna see a pic of this glowing tufa sided pond!!!!!

PULEEZ say ya will take a picture for me?

Kathy/Longlocks

    Bookmark   September 1, 2004 at 7:01PM
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lazydaisy(z7 NTX)

bump

    Bookmark   October 9, 2004 at 11:41PM
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Anela(Z6 Ks.)

A-Krebbs,
I would also love to see a picture of the glowing light.....I actually got a chance to get out there and do a couple more armatures...I've been busy getting my hands on Bamboo b/c I'm making an 'Island Oasis' in the back around my pool!! My FIRST project will be to finish the 'tikihut bb' to put in the middle of my (hopefully) black bamoo grove!!! Then I will start my 'waterfall creek'.....So would really love to see how you lightd your water feature...
Anela

p.s. I had someone come out and quote a price for me to put a rock falls on one end of my pool.....OMG! I better figure out a way to do this myself!

    Bookmark   October 10, 2004 at 10:15AM
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sunflowerdownunder(Qld Australia)

How do I make a Armature for tufa?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2004 at 5:56AM
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Anela(Z6 Ks.)

sunflower---
The way I do it, Well, first, pretty much anything can be used as an armature....In the beginning I used, nursery pots, pvc pipes, etc...and ALWAYS hardware mesh..But now I've been using rebar coated with a rust proof material. Decide what you want to make take your hardware mesh (or lathe) and your other material you will be using...Build, stack, or weld them in the 'shape' you want...Wrap and wire (attach) the Hardware mesh to your armature (try to get it tight) then just start putting on your mix....Now I pretty much use rebar welded together and wrapped with the mesh..I have some pictures in my album showing process....

Here is a link that might be useful: Anela's Album

    Bookmark   October 11, 2004 at 8:29AM
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algykrebbs(z7 TN)

I wanna see a pic of this glowing tufa sided pond!!!!!
PULEEZ say ya will take a picture for me?

Kathy/Longlocks,
I missed your post until I got your email. I'm getting ready to move so I'm dismantling the ponds and gardens. I don't have a picture but I can say it looked neat, a soft eerie glow around the perimeter. I'd use the brightest rope lights I could find if I did it again.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2004 at 12:17AM
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lazydaisy(z7 NTX)

bump

    Bookmark   January 5, 2005 at 1:56AM
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lisa_devon(z6Il)

Has anybody used hypertufa to make steps, pavers, benches and other things that experience lots of wear and tear? Do they hold up over the years? If not hypertufa, does anyone have an alternate material, that could be hand formed and produced on site, without a kiln? Would cob work for these purposes? Another question: how about hypertufa as a material to coat/surface/cover a retaining wall (I'm not too sure what would be under the hypertufa, acting as the retaining part of the wall-- since our soil here is almost pure clay, maybe I could just slope the wall enough so it could stand on its own. For instance, could I just lay hardware cloth on the surface of the sloping wall of clay and cover it with a thick layer of hypertufa, or would cob be a better chice? Living on a very sloping site, we need retaining walls of all heights, 1', 2', 3' , 4' high, in order to create terraced, level garden beds. I've built lots of walls out of stone, but as I get older, those rocks seem to be getting heavier...I need lighter weight materials...all suggestions welcome. Thanks. Lisa Devon

    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 6:42PM
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HowieDoin

where is algykrebbs these days?

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 12:42AM
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algykrebbs(z7 TN)

Thanks for askin Howie
I read the forum frequently but since I recently moved, all my time is spent gardening so I have little to offer about tufa :)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 12:52AM
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HowieDoin

I still haven't forgotten your great work!!! Please come out of tufa-tirement! :)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2005 at 8:07PM
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slate1(NSW Aust)

DITTO! DITTO! DITTO!

SLATE

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 4:28AM
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