The husband found some workshops by Concrete Everything for us over the long National Day weekend, for us to add a bit more colour / life to our home 🙂
The workshop was held at a co-working space, MakerHive, a really cool co-working space for makers-type companies, with space and tools for designers and makers ❤
Various colour pigments set up in the middle of the room we were working out of
One of the things we were going to make – a little planter for a succulent!
There were workstations set up for us, with the required materials for what we were making. My husband was making a planter and I was making a vase – there were only a few basic materials: concrete mix, water, and the mould pattern (made out of corrugated plastic!)
Our workstation with materials set up for us
The idea was simple – fold the pattern into the shape of the item we were making, mix the concrete mixture with colours, and pour it into the mould.
We just spent a little bit of time deciding on the colours (thank goodness the husband was there to help make a decision with me, given my indecisiveness)
One of the main challenges I encountered was pouring the cement mix into the mould, as the mouth of the vase was really small. The thing is we had to ensure the mix doesn’t touch the side, else the colour would stay on the side, and mess up our original colour scheme (which had different layers with different colours).
I actually messed up at the start (see the red splotches in the middle photo below), but I tried to salvage it by wiping it as much as I could (as far as my fingers could reach to wipe it down), and we altered our original design by having slanted lines instead:
As I moved through the layers, I got a bit better at it (when the cement texture is right, things are a bit easier!)
Finally done, and left the pieces to sit for 30+ minutes or so while we went for lunch!
Note: the hardening of concrete is an exothermic reaction (gives off heat) – the pieces were warm to hold!
The trickiest bit of the workshop was removing the moulds – the outsides were pretty easy, but the parts that were inside the vase (to give it a hollow) were a bit more challenging to remove. I enlisted the help of Alvin, the instructor, but a bit of the top of the vase (near the mouth) broke.
This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because the way it broke off was pretty cool, and I sanded it down, and the angled mouth of the vase worked well with the overall geometric shape of the vase and the slanted lines of the layers!
Coincidentally, I also read about the concept of wabi-sabi on one of Concrete Everything’s instagram posts after coming across it on their beautiful instagram account, which I was scrolling through during lunch. It refers to the acceptance of transience and imperfection, and finding the beauty in it.
Life has such a magical way of imparting lessons at the right time, doesn’t it?
Final product: husband’s planter + my vase
We really love the colours – who knew concrete could be so colourful? ❤ They look beautiful in our balcony, and fit right into our home 🙂
Details of the workshop
Duration: ~3 hours, including ~1 hour drying time in between
Price: $75 for the planter (which includes a succulent with it), and $70 for the vase – we booked the workshop on the Concrete Everything website
Level of “fun”: 3/5
The actual process in theory was fairly straightforward, and the main bits that were fun were coming up with colour scheme designs, and working with mould (and in my case, moving it around) to make sure the colours and design work out well. As the mixture is fluid, so is the process 😉
Level of difficulty: 2.5/5
The workshop was overall pretty easy – the planter is definitely easier than the vase, because the “mouth” where you have to pour in the mixture is much larger. My biggest tip is to make sure that you get the cement mixture consistency right before starting to pour, cos it makes a huge difference in the ease of controlling where it lands!
The removing of the inner-parts of the mould were a bit trickier, but the instructor, Alvin, who is super friendly and helpful, is on hand to help with that 🙂