Saturday, May 8, 2010

papercrete recipe update 5-8-2010

papercrete gazebo 9

I made a couple batches of papercrete with the tow mixer last week, and used it to daub a base coat over much of the remaining bare armature. It's been difficult to get a base coat to stick if there was any flexibility in the armature. One thing that helped was to rewire remaining areas of the armature so that the chicken wire, which is more flexible, is behind the stiffer fence wire. Once a single coat of papercrete dries over the armature, it's much easier to add layers of papercrete. I soaked the dry base coat with plenty of water, and added readymix joint compound to the crete to help it stick.
This time instead of making papercrete leaves and attaching them to the base, I simply added and shaped a lump of my current sculpture mix to the base and pressed the leaves in on the spot. This is so much faster and simpler, and gives much more control over where I can place the leaves.
Same with the stones on the base. Instead of making them with the stepping stone mold and attaching them with sheetrock screws, I just gobbed some papercrete onto the base and shaped it into stones using a trowel. A discarded cd makes a great trowel.
For the facade, I'm currently using this sculpture mix (with 2-pound coffee can):
** four cans cellulose insulation
** two cans sand
** one can cement
** water to mix thoroughly but not too wet
** ample (and I do mean ample) readymix joint compound
I mix it by hand in a five gallon bucket, wearing latex gloves, adding the joint compound last. I find I often have to add joint compound as I go, and keep a bucket of water handy to wash it off my gloves so that the papercrete doesn't stick to my gloves instead of the base when I try to daub it on.