Sunday, December 7, 2008


Keeping the patterned pathway of circle and square stepping stones, we eliminated things like benches and bird baths, and decided to border the path with cylinder pillars.  We played around with different ideas for the size and placement of the pillars and eventually decided on only bordering one side of the path at a time, with pillars on one side half way, then on the other side the rest of the way.  We also decided that they should be about 8in in diameter and 2ft high.  I suggested that we make the four pillars at the center of the path (2 on one side, 2 on the other) have 12in diameters at 2ft tall to allow subtle seating, and the group liked it!

 After deciding our materials and estimating a cost, we decided to reduce the number of pillars from 13 or 14 to 8 total (4 bordering one side, 4 bordering the other).  See model.



We decided to save money and recycle: we planned on using cardboard boxes for the square stepping stones and the remains of the cardboard tube molds (for the pillars) for the circle stones.  

Everyone brought in an assortment of boxes.   We used duct tape to reinforce weak joints and repair holes.  Then we were ready for casting!
First, we tried using sawdust from the shop as an aggregate, but it made the concrete too crumbly.  Then we came up with using Perlite, which worked out great!
Corregated cardboard left a ridge texture in the concrete and pieces of it became stuck to the stepping stones.  And boxes with flaps on the bottoms or sides left deep imprints in the concrete.  But shoe boxes worked really well - the concrete popped/slid right out of them, and they gave the stones really smooth surfaces.

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