Monday, October 25, 2010

The Retirement Card

When one of my coworkers, whom I much admired, chose to retire, I wanted to do something for him.  This measures 16"x20" but I deliberately kept the cutting portion of it small so that all of those that worked with him would have enough room to offer up their farewell wishes.

The Open Candlebox

 The candleboxes with the stained glass were continually cracking so I wanted to be sure that it was the glass that was doing it.  In order to test that out I cast a candlebox that had no glass.

One Christmas I made a series of them as gifts for friends and family.

The two major differences are that it's made out of ordinary concrete - portland cement and play sand in a 1:1 ratio with a lot of water (I had to be sure that the mix would fill the mold) and the web on top.  Concrete can withstand a great deal of heat, and most candle lanterns are completely open at the top in order to dissipate the heat.  I thought it would be interesting if this one had a web on the top similar to the ones on its sides.

The votive candle within is small enough to fit through the webbing on one of the sides to allow for insertion and removal of the candle and its glass jar.

This cast was done in a single pour, not assembled from separate casts.  The box which formed the center opening was made of foamboard.  In order to demold the cast, this box had to be cut up through the concrete webbing and taken out a piece at a time.

The Playhouse

The scale is difficult to gauge in this picture.  The door is just over 5' tall.

A coworker's daughters were quickly outgrowing their commercially available backyard plastic playhouse.  He asked me to design a bigger replacement - something he'd build himself.  The only requirement was that it be less than 8' in all dimensions.

The result was a simple gabled box 6'x6', 8' tall.  Two of its adjacent sides have one foot bays, one of which extends another foot to form a "porch".

A few months after he finished building it, he sold his home.  His daughters' affection for the playhouse, and his own sweat equity motivated him enough to rent a crane and truck large enough to move it to the backyard of their new home.