Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Stewart Trough

While flipping through a magazine a couple years ago I came across a photo of an eight-cornered tea tray and quickly made a drawing of an eight-cornered trough in my sketchbook.  I forgot about it for awhile but kept pausing to look at the drawing as I flipped through my sketchbook.  About a year ago I made a cut list and began to make the plywood mold to cast the trough.  It was an instant headache, with overlaps and two rims and four corner voids to take into account.  The mold ended up being made of 24 pieces of wood.  I cast it successfully once last year, and promptly planted up the trough in my driveway.  The couple other times that I cast it last year, the trough didn't come cleanly out of the mold and the rims were very fragile when they did cast.  This year I modified the mold by routing a cove into the rim edges, which casts as a bead and helps strengthen the rim.  I found that I needed to add more sand to the mix and less perlite and peat moss in order to add strength and ensure that the details cast.  I also added a gallon of acrylic fortifier to the hypertufa (reducing the water in the mix), giving up some of the trough's porosity in exchange for strength.

I cast it a couple times this spring and I think that I'm happy with it.  I cast separate ingot-shaped feet for the trough because the mold is complex enough already.

Stewart trough 22 x 19 x 14"H (including feet)

1 comment:

  1. Your making of this creation sounds like one of my favorite films, "The Agony and the Ecstasy", of you making this fine trough. The concept and idea though show a fantastic trough that any person would want to display in their garden. In short, your creation is a masterpiece and magnificent. You, of course, are a genius!