Artist Kathy Goodhue, Dublin, Ireland, switched to concrete as a sculpting material after experiencing dissatisfaction with using metal and wood. She found that concrete was less costly and allowed her greater creativity with her color and texture needs. Despite the large scale of most of her concrete sculptures, Goodhue needs only a few simple hand tools to create them. First, she makes a small scale model of the piece in plaster, then she builds a full-scale armature using the model as a guide.
To build the armature, Goodhue uses .5- and .75-inch diameter mild steel bar in 21-foot lengths. After bending the steel rods into the various shapes required, Goodhue welds them together then applies a rustproof coating. Next, she covers the completed armature with expanded wire mesh, using wire ties to hold the mesh in place. She applies the first layer of concrete to the armature at a 1.5-inch thickness, then allows it to harden before applying a final .5-inch-thick layer. To detail and texture the final layer, she uses various wire brushes and sanding discs attached to an electric drill. After allowing the concrete to cure for about 6 weeks, she applies a protective waterproofing sealer.