A Sculptural Experience with Concrete!

It’s always challenging and fun to experience new mediums, to create art in a way that I’ve never tried before. In January I drove to Liverpool, Nova Scotia for a workshop with Ivan Higgins at Cosby’s Garden Centre. During a visit to the garden centre this summer, I was awe struck by his massive, expressive sculptures scattered throughout the forest and along pathways behind the greenhouses. I was inspired to take part in the two day workshop along with a friend of mine.

We made it an adventure, starting with a stop at Guy Frenchy’s in Bridgewater for ‘work clothes’. Following lunch at Fancy Pants Café in Bridgewater, we drove to Liverpool, checking in at the lovely Privateer Inn, a place you hardly want to leave! We took part in Trivia Night, enjoyed a cocktail and delicious dinner and met some of the other participants in the workshop.

And then…the fun really began. Or should I say, the work. This is by no means an easy feat for a newby to sculpture like me. Shaping the sculpture with wire, wire cutters and twist ties was hard on the hands. I got a terrible cramp in one hand that required icing to calm it down. Fortunately, I could still hold a glass of wine that evening with my uninjured hand. 🙂

Before I left for the evening of the first day, I had to stuff the entire sculpture with the concrete mixture prepared for us by Ivan’s assistants. The hard working young men also gave us tips on creating forms with the appropriate structural integrity to hold all the weight of that concrete. Even with that, a part of my ‘wave’ started to collapse and needed to be tied up. The wire shape morphed into an alien monster. But before the night was out, it was stuffed and I crossed my fingers that it wouldn’t collapse into a heap by morning.

On the second day of the workshop, I started added a finer coat of cement, sculpting the shape. Suddenly, there was hope that I could transform this into something beautiful…or at least something interesting! I could have continued to add to the shape for days, but for the sake of my first attempt and the completion of the workshop, this was as far as the project would evolve in Liverpool. Now it has to cure before I pick it up in a few weeks and figure out where to place it in my own personal ‘sculpture garden’. I’ve got plans for adding some interesting elements, so in a sense, the project is still evolving. Stay tuned for more pictures and perhaps even for more sculpture projects down the road.

Thanks for coming along this journey with me. Please write to me if you have any questions or ideas. I’m always so happy to hear from you!

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