Handcarved and precast rock work is a major focus of Gascon’s and Hughes’ talents. In this demo, they integrated other handcarved features, including jungle trees with vines and roots, and an ancient ruin with detailed carvings—all applied over drywall with wood stud framing.

They started by rolling latex primer on the wall to minimize water movement from the overlay cement to the drywall. Next, they cut and arranged polystyrene foam shapes on the wall, giving form to the tree, roots, and vines. Using a hopper gun to spray an overlay cement mix, they applied a scratch coat on the foam and the drywall. When it set, they attached diamond lath to form the shapes of spanning features, which also were sprayed with a fast-curing scratch coat.

To complete their work they placed a stampable overlay to all vertical features, which was carved and textured to create realistic detail. An overlay on the floor slab added stamped and carved patterns. The final demo included a glass fiber reinforced concrete sitting bench, molded from the bark texture of a 130-year-old crab apple tree. The team used a variety of coloring techniques, including pigmented cements, acid and mineral stains, and water-based dyes to bring the piece to life. Certain elements were sealed to help separate textures.

View the other 2011 Artistry in Decorative Concrete participants and projects.