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Casting In Concrete

When I did my first concrete cast last year it was my first attempt at any form of casting and although it was successful there were still ways that I could improve and refine the process.

The main consideration is the weight of the object and tied to this also its size. I have researched ways that you can lighten the mix of concrete and this can be done by swapping some of the sand for vermiculite or pearlite which is a material used in gardening to aerate soil or polystyrene. Ideally I would want to be able to create pieces that can be moved by one person.

Last time I produced the pallet myself which is why it is not a full size one - however I have now been able to source much smaller pallets that are ideal for what I want to achieve. I had to dismantle the pallets and reassemble them with screws instead of nails, with the help of my assistant.

Unfortunately with the first cast impatience got the better of me and it had not fully set before I tried to release it.

One of the benefits of doing these casts at the college is that I produce them on a Thursday evening and then wont be back at college until the next week which gives it plenty of time to set - doing it at home there was the pressure of being "in the way" which also added to me not waiting long enough.

However producing the first mould at home meant that I had been responsible for the whole process and at no point had a technician taken pity on me so I was fully aware of the requirements for each stage.

Now that I am familiar with the process it has become a much more streamlined production process and I can have two casts setting within an hour - which is really helpful in the case of unfortunate accidents

although it was devastating to find out some of my work had been damaged I was at least able to take away from it that I was for once prepared enough and had enough time to make replacement casts without it affecting my schedule too badly.

It does also highlight the fragility of the casts - the great care needed when handling them during the install and considerations for when the show is open to the public as to the likelihood of this kind of accident repeating.

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