Tomas Lipps | 1 Jun 15:57 2008

Re: sculpting in plaster?

>Actually, there is a magic elixir for increasing the working time!
>USG makes a retarder for plaster that works quite well!

the human body also makes an excellent retardant; it's called urine. 
it's an old plasterers' trick and masons have used it to slow down 
the set of mortar.  vinegar also works, but you don't always have a 
bottle of that handy.

white shellac protects the finished sculpture (or macquette) and 
makes it look like ivory.

jake berglund | 2 Jun 05:59 2008

Re: sculpting in plaster?

Tomas Lipps  wrote:

> the human body also makes an excellent retardant; it's called urine.

The salt content of urine is bad for any cementitious material.


Marc Fields | 2 Jun 15:28 2008

Re: sculpting in plaster?

It does work for gypsums, but makes smelly castings!


Marc Fields
The Compleat Sculptor, Inc.
"You Supply the Talent, We'll Supply the Rest."

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Stephen West | 2 Jun 20:08 2008

Re: sculpting in plaster?

out of office till 2nd June
main office Safle 0845 2413684

Stephen West | 2 Jun 20:08 2008

Re: sculpting in plaster?

out of office till 2nd June
main office Safle 0845 2413684

Stephen West | 2 Jun 20:08 2008

Re: sculpting in plaster?

out of office till 2nd June
main office Safle 0845 2413684

Viking Deth | 5 Jun 14:16 2008

introducing myself

Good day to you all.  I joined the Stone List about 4 years ago, and
introduced myself in my one and only email.  I had about 1 year of
limited experience at that time; carving alabaster.  I'm from Indiana
(USA) and have focused mainly on the native limestone since I last
wrote.  The Dude (who has become my best friend) who introduced me to
stone sculpting back then, used to call me 'scratchy' because I was
hooked on files.   Over these years, he continued to involve me with
his work =96 to help me learn, not because he needs the help.  I
consider him a master of stone art.  I dove into the chisels and
hammer (and yes, he called me 'tappy' for awhile) when I began a
Memorial that I am hoping to have done by years end.  I definitely am
not against power tools and use a metabo angle grinder and heavy duty

I have been getting the stone digest and really dig it.  This
(re)introduction is also a test to make sure I am getting thru in the
right format.  If all's well, I'll be writing back in with a question,
or two.



Viking Deth | 5 Jun 16:16 2008

Memorial Base Construction

I am carving a large Memorial out of Indiana limestone.  I first wrote
in about this several years ago, and am nearing the final stages.  It
is a leaning tree with a red tail hawk perched on the trunk.  The
final dimensions are approximately 7 ft x 2 ft x 2ft and I estimate it
weighing in at around one ton (2000 lb).

Once the Memorial is finished, it will be moved to its final resting
place, a cemetery in Northern Indiana, about 200 miles north of where
I now live.

I would greatly appreciate input and/or feedback on the construction
of its base and the permanent joining of the two (or anything else).
Currently, the general plan is as follows:

1.  Construct a (approximately) 3 ft x 3 ft x 4 ft concrete base
fairly flush with ground level.  Some form of rebar =96 steel
reinforcement =96 will be used w/in the concrete.

2.  During the concrete pour, insert a 1 =BC inch sleeve into the
central part of the base.  The sleeve would be installed flush w/ the
concrete and with its lower end sealed  so as not to fill w/ concrete
when installed.

3.  Cover upper end of sleeve in base to avoid filling w/ debris, etc.
during the time it takes to finalize the Memorial and get it moved

4.  The purpose of the sleeve is for a 27 inch long, 1 inch diameter
stainless steel rod.  The plan for the rod is to go approximately 17
inches into the center of the bottom of the Memorial, and as a result
(Continue reading)

George Graham | 6 Jun 14:40 2008

Re: Memorial Base Construction

My first thought is, will the memorial be balanced so that it will stand upright , on it's own? If is  leaning,
and needs a pin to hold it upright, then you need better advice then I can give.
Assuming that your project stands on it's own, I'd say you have a good plan regarding the sleeve and pin size
and length.
Having the foundation raised a couple of inches above grade will do a lot to keep water from getting at the
bottom of the piece.
Making sure the foundation has a smooth and level top will make sealing the piece to the concrete much
easier. The traditional way to set a monument in a cemetery is to put 1\8 or 1\4"spacers under the stone,
near the outside edge, and then put a large roll of setting compound under the outside edge of stone. Then
set the stone down so all the excess it squeezed out. All the weight is on the spacers, and the setting
compound seals out  water and snow. finally, you take a knife and cut away all the squeezed out compound.
Another way is to set the piece on the spacers, and then use a caulking gun to seal up the joint. You will need to
tape all around to keep from making a big mess. The main point is to have a space between the stone and the
foundation so you can get a good, flexible, sealing compound underneath. I used to be in the monument
industry, and have set many stones in the Buffalo NY area. I have never heard of anyone setting a stone in a
bed of cement as a final setting method.
A 4 foot deep foundation should be more than enough to stay below the frost line. Check with your local
monument company , or cemetery for advice. Also setting a stone can be very difficult, and you should talk
to someone in your area to see the tools they use and how they do it. I just gave you a brief description. Every
job is different!
Where in northern Indiana is the piece going? I know that area pretty well.
Good luck,
George Graham



(Continue reading)

Viking Deth | 6 Jun 16:06 2008

Re: Memorial Base Construction


Thanks for all the advice!  Yes, the memorial is balanced.  The lean
is accentuated by the shape/curve at the base of the trunk and is
counterbalanced by a branch.  Recently we had an earthquake in the
area (west of me in south/central Illinois) and the Memorial actually
shifted/rotated when the S wave came thru.  I didn't realize it until
the night after the quake when I noticed my chisel marks in my wood
base showing it's previous location.  A thankful day to say the least.

I will make sure the base at the cemetery is above grade, smooth and
level, as you indicated =96 thanks!

I really appreciate you explaining the traditional way of setting a
monument.  Can you give me a specific product name for 'the roll of
setting compound' and the caulk type?  Also, do you have a
recommendation on an epoxy type product for cementing the stainless
steel rod?

As fate would have it, I used to work at the cemetery that will
receive the Memorial.  My old boss still works there and is able,
willing, and happy to assist.  However, as he told me, setting larger
memorials is contracted out to the monument makers that make them.  It
is in LaGrange.   Do you know that area?

I may end up hiring a monument company to transport to the cemetery
and lift the stone, in order for me to set as described above.

Thanks again!  If I can figure it out, I'll post some images on my
gmail (email server) account.
(Continue reading)