Introduction: Concrete Leaf-Cast Lamp
To start, let me just say; "I love Concrete'! Yes, I dream up all kinds of projects, inspired by all sorts of things including nature!
I could not have done this project without the help of 'Mother Nature'! How amazing is the texture found all around us! It's so generous and perfect for my project - A Lamp! This concrete mix is so fine it doesn't miss a detail! Don't be afraid - concrete is not that scary.
Step 1: Ready the Lamp Base
I decided to make things easier and not do any wiring, This lamp does not allow disassembly so I needed to keep it intact.
Since this lamp is height adjustable, the cord needs to still be able to slide. Use some Vinyl tubing to cover the wire and protect it from the concrete edges later. Use some zip ties to attach securely.
To keep the base clean, it should be covered with something like a thin plastic from packaging. Make 2 halves and slide them into each other to cover the base. Tape well to secure. Concrete does not stick to plastic so it can be pulled out after. Keep tape accessible.
Step 2: Setting the Form:
The form I am using is the simple cylinder shape of the 'Pringles Chip' can. They cut easily and can be adjusted for height. They also come with plastic caps for top and bottom.
Cut the bottom one for the base and cord. Ad a slot for the top one and slide into place. Tape everything well.
To make the concrete not slide and add some reinforcement wrap the tube with Drywall mesh.
Set a place for it to lay horizontal. The square base allows it to turn nicely.
Step 3: Concreting - the Fun Part!
I think I may have had too much fun in the sand box as a child! - Just saying!
This Rapidset Cementall mix is the best to use for this project. I have made many projects with this mix and prefer it for it's strength and quick setting/curing time. Do not try to substitute unless you have used another mix in this way. You may check out this project for a similar mix.
Mix small amounts at a time. It will need little water, mix until it slightly flows. It has a melted ice cream / sour cream consistency. Let it sit a minute or so. It will start to slump less (runnyness will diminish)
Put some on a leaf and then flip it onto the tube. Keep leaf in place til set. Repeat all over the tube. There may be small spaces that can be filled later on.
Once one side it done, the mix is usually set enough to allow turning (super hard in 1 hour)
As soon as it is hard enough you can start to peel leaves off. Some veins may stay and can be scrubbed out later.
Step 4: Add a Few More...
Take a look and see where there may be spots to fill.
Repeat the method to fill in any small places with another layer of little leaves. If it is really cured dampen the older concrete before adding on top.
Once all the small spots are done fill the top with some leaves or a flat 'buttering' of concrete. I did a bit of both. It is very forgiving as there is so much amazing texture!
Step 5: Call It 'done' or Add Some Finish
I hate painted concrete! Concrete has a charm of texture so don't fill & cover it!
The key is dry-brushing which is very little paint. It does not cover it up and allows the textures to really stand out.
Put a tiny bit of matte medium on a brush and very sparingly paint the surfaces. It will just give it a bit of covering to allow less staining later.
Using the bronze sparingly (wipe on a dry cloth) and the dry-brush the bronze more al the bottom and less towards the top. Turn and follow around. It is very easy since its so little paint.
To accentuate the crevices mix small amount of black with Matte medium and water to have a runny mix. It can be applied liberally all over and then quickly wiped off. It will stay in the details and they will now stand out more. I LOVE how well this accentuates the texture!
Step 6: Admire Your Work...
How amazing it the texture that come from leaves?! Before you know it you will be looking at leaves everywhere more intensely. I have used leaves in many of my projects! Come take a look at more projects made with leaves!
This is very elegant but detailed. The simple shape is perfect for modern decor without being boring. Put a simple drum shade on the top, a LED bulb and you are set. No wiring needed!
If you have never worked with concrete I have some tips for you. By the way, I did this inside, very little mess. No washing any containers, just let dry. Be safe and wear a mask when mixing the dry concrete and gloves for your hands.
Participated in the
Stone, Concrete, Cement Challenge