October 25, 2002

Concrete Mirror 01 - Tutorial

 6/13/2002 :  Transferred this entry from my Bellsouth Calender.    I hung this piece on the back fence with the idea that I'd evaluate the mirror haze situation as it went along.   The haze did clear within a week or so, however, within a year the cement started deteriorating the silver backing on the mirror.    It remains on the back fence. 

Friday, September 20, 2002
 C-Mirror01 is going to be an outside mirror with a concrete backing.

Making the Mold:
a) Drew pattern out on paper bag.
b) Cut out pattern - inside mirror frame and outside of frame.
c) Traced pattern onto sheet of 1" styrofoam, making sure there was at least 1 1/2" of stryofoam on each side of pattern.
d) Cut outside of pattern with box and kitchen knife from styrofoam.
Note: This cutout piece now serves as the mold.
e) Traced the inside shape of the pattern onto 1/8" styrofoam.
f) Cut out that piece of styrofoam.
Note: This piece will serve to make pattern for mirror. (This will be more understandable later). 

Selected glass and ornaments to apply to C-Mirror01.

 Saturday, September 21, 2002

 a)Cut the blue and white glass and flowers down to desired size.
b) Nipped edges of all the cut glass.
(This outside piece should not be subject to much touching; I'm not going to deburr the glass).

Sunday, September 22, 2002

a) Layed out gem and flowers in approx. placement.
b) Mixed batch of wallpaper paste and put in cool whip container for short term keeping. (Will last a couple of weeks).
c) started applying glass to paper pattern. Nipped pieces, as needed, to conform to space it must fit within. (Note that the pattern, are upcoming color are marked on the pattern).

Note: This is a reverse mosaic technique. The glass is applied to the paper upside down and held in place using wallpaper paste. Later, the paper (with glass attached), will be moved onto bottom board, inside of mold, and mirror, concrete, etc. applied over top .... continue watching if you do not understand).

Monday, September 23, 2002
Completed attaching glass to paper pattern, until completed.

(This is always fun ... even though I'm careful in making sure I get the right color in the right section, I never really know if I've got it right until it's done and I remove the paper).

Set aside to dry. It will probably be several days before I cut mirror and complete concrete process as the weather man says we might be having a hurricane. (Got to get everything ready).

C-Mirror01 & 02 
Saturday, September 28, 2002
C-Mirror01&02 are being worked simultaneously. As such, I'll mix pictures of the two together at this stage, as everything is being done the same.

a) Cut 1/2" piece of styrofoam same size as outside of frame. (Note, there is nothing magical about the 1/2". It just happens I have a couple sheets of this size hanging around). This becomes the bottom piece that will support the mosaic & concrete until the frame is removed.
B) Attached mirror frame to bottom using duct tape. Note that the duct tape goes all the way up the sides of the inside frame. This will keep outside edge of concrete nice.
c) Picked up paper pattern with mosaic and laid into frame. Placed the center 1/8" styrofoam piece, previously cut, in center.
d) Cut Mirror from large piece of sheet mirror.
e) Cut strip pieces of stucco mesh to use as reinforcement for the concrete.

At this point, we are ready to proceed with concrete ..... except the LSU vs. MS game is coming on TV. I'm going to put all this away and move inside and work on something where I can watch the game. (If I open the doors, my studio overlooks the living room, and I have a direct shot at the TV. Aren't you glad I shared that with you.)

Monday, September 30, 2002
a) Put toothpicks in center 1/8" sytrofoam piece to hold in place.
b) Mixed up a bucket of dry cement/grout/sand mixture. Will work with the mixture 1 - 2 cups at a time.
c) Mixed up small amount of cement mix on dry side. Pressed into crevices between glass shards and along inside outside edges of mirror frame.
d) Placed mirror face side down over 1/8" styrofoam piece.
e) Put in another layer of cement mix to bring up even with mirror. 

a) Layed pieces of stucco mesh over pressed concrete to give piece some support. Note that two 'S' hooks are inserted into stucco. These will supply a way to hang mirror when complete.
b) Applied additional layer of cement mix, pressing though stucco mesh.
c) Continued applying layers, pressing and smoothing to ensure no air pockets, until cement level with top of frame.
d) Smoothed again and applied light texture to top (back) with hands.
e) Applied mirror number, date and initials.
f) Wrapped up in plastic. Will let sit until tomorrow afternoon, then will break off mold.

Tuesday, October 1, 2002
Removed plastic and made room to work on piece. Lifted and turned over so mirror is now facing up.

a) Broke off styrofoam frame, in small chunks, around outside. Lightly rasped the back edge to remove sharpness.
b) Loosened duct tape from edges, lifted concrete piece and pulled off from bottom.
c) Lifted out 1/8" styrofoam piece that is laying over top of the mirror. (This both protected the mirror, as well as created an 1/8" space between the mirror and top of frame).
d) Sprayed paper pattern covering glass shards with water bottle. Let set for a couple minutes to loosen paper, then pulled paper off.
e) Carefully rasped top edges of outside/inside of frame to remove sharp edge/crease points.
f) Sprayed mirror down with water mist; wrapped back up in plastic and set aside to cure. Top and edges of piece still appear to fragile to handle. 

Friday, October 25, 2002

C-Mirror-01 was created the week of 9/20 and has been curing in the back yard holding area ever since. Pulled out, unwrapped plastic and inspected. The mirror has a haze, but everything else looks good.

Took to back porch and cleaned both the mosiac glass and mirror with a soft cloth and vinegar.

Cut a piece of wire and attached to S-Hooks in back. Hung on fence ... as this piece has a haze on the mirror (not sure why ... will have to research); it is not 'for-sale' quality.

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