October 25, 2002

Concrete Mirror 02 - Tutorial

 6/14/2002:  Transferred from my Bellsouth Art Diary.  Apparently I did not finish documenting this piece ... i.e., attaching the coat hooks.   I did attach the coat hooks and hang on the back fence.   Over time, three of the fence hooks fell off.   It could have been easily reattached with a little silicone caulk or mortar; I just didn't.  It still hangs on the back fence.

Event Times
Monday, September 23, 2002
 Start another concrete mirror. I have a large sheet of mirror in the shed that came from a neighbors bathroom (they were remodeling and trashed it) that I'd like to use up and get out of the way. Large sheets of mirror are always dangerous to have leaning around.

1) Cut open paper bag and decided on pattern for mirror frame.
2) Measured and drew outline on paperbag.
c) Cut out pattern - inside and outside.
d) Traced inside mirror pattern onto sheet of 1/8" styrofoam and cut out. This is used to apply inside frame pattern on mirror glass.
e) Traced outside pattern onto sheet of 1" styrofoam and cut outside of pattern. (This piece of sytrofoam forms the 1" sides of the mirror frame.
f) Traced outline of hooks onto 1/8" styrofoam and cut out. These outlines will serve as placeholders for the hooks when the concrete is poured. 

Event Times
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
 a) Selected glass shards, gems and tile pieces from available inventory.
b) Put coat hook in paint box and spray painted bright yellow. (Note - applied the coats to quickly; coat hooks are soaking in paint thinner; will have to be redone in a couple of days).
C) Cut glass shards down to appropriate sizes and nipped edges to remove sharp points. (I'm not deburring as is for outdoor use).
d) Sorted flower shards to color - pink/green/yellow for ease of use.
e) Cut tile pieces to appropriate size.

Event Times
Wednesday, September 25, 2002

 a) Refreshed premade wallpaper paste by adding a little water and remixing (I like to work with in on the dry, not soupy side). Note, all guing of pieces to paper pattern is with wallpaper paste.
b) Glued down styrofoam cutouts for coat hooks.
c) Applied dark blue shards to four corner dividers.
d) Layed out initial design pattern with tiles and gems. Glued in place.

Event Times
Thursday, September 26, 2002

 a) Continued applying glass shards to paper pattern.
b) Finished applying shards. This one came to a close call. When done, I had a whole three pieces of the floral pattern left!!.
d) Picked up mess and put away. Set aside mirror form.

(Tropical Storm Isadore came through over the last two days. In preparation, the garage and shed are packed down with all the outside stuff. Tomorrow will still be too wet -- almost 10" of rain in 15 hours --, and Saturday is LSU game, guys are gone. So, point of this dialog is, I can't get to the mirror glass in the shed, or concrete, or anything else I need until Monday. So, this project (as well as C-Mirror01) will just have to wait. 

C-Mirror01 & 02
Event Times
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.)

Event Times
Monday, September 30, 2002

 Cement mix: 3 parts grout; 3 parts sifted sand; 1 part portland cement. Mix moistened and used 1 - 3 cups at a time.

a) Pressed mix (on dry side) into spaces between glass shards and mirror edges.
b) Set mirror in place, face side down, over top of 1/8" styrofoam middle insert.
c) Applied another layer to cement to bring level with mirror.
d) Laid in pieces of stucco mesh in middle and along sides, over top of existing cement mixture. (This is reinforcement for the concrete. Note that two "s" hooks are inserted to the mesh to act as hooks for wire hanging.
e) Pressed another layer of cement through the stucco mesh.
f) Continued applying layers of cement mix until level with top of frame.
g) Smoothed out with hands to form a light texture on back.
h) Stencilled in Mirror number, date and initials.
i) Wrapped in plastic. Will hold and release from mold tomorrow afternoon. 

Event Times
Monday, September 30, 2002

I did a lousy job painting these coat hooks yellow, last week. Obviously, I applied the paint to thick ... they looked real sorry.

So .... laid out the coat hooks on plastic and applied paint stripper. Allowed to sit 10 minutes, then wiped off paint/stripper with paper towels. Cleaned with water and dried thoroughly.
Put in paint box (old wooden wine box) and applied a light coat of pink paint. 

Event Times
Tuesday, October 1, 2002

 a) Removed plastic wrap from piece and turned over so mirror side is facing up.
b) Gently broke off pieces of outside styrofoam frame.
c) Loosed duct tape from outside edges, lifted piece and pulled from bottom.
c) Rasped outside edges to remove sharp and/or uneven areas.
d) Removed 1/8" styrofoam piece the is over the mirror.
e) Sprayed paper with light mist of water and waited a couple minutes for the moisture to loosen the glue. Pulled off the paper.
f) Removed the small sytrofoam inserts that are the placeholders for the coat hooks.
g) Sprayed piece with water and re-wrapped in plastic.
h) Moved to holding section to allow mirror to cure for a few more days before handling further. 

Event Times
Friday, October 25, 2002

Pulled CMirror-02 from curing section in back yard where it has been wrapped up in plastic the last three weeks. Removed plastic and inspected. Overall, looks pretty good.

a) Moved into shed.
b) Mixed about 5 tablespoons of cement/grout/sand mix. (I had previously set some aside from the same mix that was used for the mirror in a plastic bag to complete this project.
c) Filled the hole spaces that had been made by the styrofoam forms for the coat hooks.
d) Set the coat hooks in place.
e) Cleaned up cement mix that oozed out the sides with a toothpick.
f) Let set for about 30 minutes, then cleaned mosaic glass and mirror using soft cloths with vinegar.

Set aside to consider next steps, or if it is complete .... except for sealing.

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