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Kiko Denzer on Art

[Cob] RE: weatherproofing w/ linseed oil; hypertufa w/ cob; sculpting w/ cob

littlehouseantiques at littlehouseantiques at
Tue Sep 14 08:21:55 PDT 2004

> Amanda wrote: 
> somewhere I read recently that the only REALLY stupid question is the one 
> that isn't asked. 

In my younger years there were MANY questions I regret not asking; thank heavens as one ages one does get wiser and realizes an ANSWER is better than not looking stupid - lol!  

> <snip>Charmaine Taylor recommends Rubbermaid Roughneck tubs--she's probably
> right.  She's also the resident expert on hypertufa, about which I know nothing
> except I'd like to try it one of these days.

Hypertufa mimics real Tufa stone (sedimentary rock formed by layers of rock and organic material through which water has washed over long periods of time erasing and carrying away the organics and leaving only the stone).  Hypertufa is a mixture of portland cement + a binder (usually sand) and additives such as peat moss, vermiculite, perlite, etc.)  I love sculpting and casting it BUT hate the portland and the health hazards involved and thus am looking to replace my Hypertufa 'habit' with a more healthy earth friendly substitute like COB.  Here's a link to some of my hypertufa projects:  

<a href="">Hypertufa Projects</a>

> But I did a tiny sample for my earthen floor last year--put linseed oil on 
> it (first coat mostly mineral spirits, second half and half, third mostly 
> linseed oil--there ARE nicer things to use than mineral spirits), just left 
> it outside over the winter--and our winter rains. As long as you dry it 
> off, you'd have no problems at all sitting on it. I'd guess it won't last 
> forever, but.... 
Well, Amanda, I rather like the idea that it won't last forever...heaven forbid!  If I'm not around to maintain it, why shouldn't it just "melt" back into the earth (like I'll eventually do some day? - LOL!)  

Thanks to everyone for suggestions/input...appreciate it!  If any one can direct me to sites where they focus on COB used as a freestanding sculpting material (as opposed to sculpting on walls, etc. I'd really appreciate that too!


P.S.  Amanda, you are not the ONLY one for whom a clay/sand mix of 3:1 works...that's my mix too!  Most of the standardly suggested COB mix proportions for me didn't work at all!  Guess it would be good to understand why exactly BUT once ya figure out what works does it matter? Why overburden one's brain, eh?