Here, primarily in his own words, is Mr. Rankin's explanation of how he works with concrete and why he has chosen to work with concrete in preference to conventional materials. "Most of what I know about concrete I found out the hard way: by trial and error. I become interested in the possibilities of sculpturing plastic concrete as a result of a project assigned to my sculpture class at UCLA. It wasn't a particularly successful project, partly because the instructor himself didn't know very much about concrete. Even so, I remembered the experience and after I left school I began experimenting with sculpturing animal figures in concrete. I guess you could say that the primary reason for trying to work with concrete was that I couldn't really afford the materials normally used in sculpturing. But that wasn't the only consideration. The color and texture of concrete are excellent for many animal studies, and beyond that I needed to work with an expendable material in order to be free to try even the least promising point of view in particular which makes concrete an absolutely fascinating medium in which to work. On the other hand, nobody in his right mind is likely to do much experimental work with blocks of marble." "Since I was living in the Venice Beach area at the time, my first efforts were with mixes containing beach sand. The resulting material never was really tough; one could carve it, even after setting, with his fingernail. Then I started using silica sand and from then on there was steady progress. Silica sand doesn't make the strongest concrete in the world, but fortunately strength isn't all that important a requirement most of the time. What is important is to have a very plastic material which can be carved easily and doesn't fall apart while you're working with it."