Sunday, August 29, 2010


Every creative process has its trials and errors. This weekend's Hypertufa Studio definitely experienced both the ecstasy of winning and the agony of defeat. Many things went right but it seemed we had an inordinate amount of things that didn't go quite as expected. It is so disheartening when a prized planter collapses, a gorgeous leaf platter crumbles or the nose falls right off of a sculpted head! Those who viewed learning to make and work with Hypertufa as an adventure were the happier lot. In this game, everything that falls apart can be put back together with a bit of resolve and determination. So, after all is said and done, everything is back where it should be and these troopers will end up, each with their four projects intact.

Amy carved a beautiful letter "S" as the feature of her stepping stone. After sculpting the letter form, she added stones and marbles for decoration.

Fab begins to add the hypertufa on top of the concrete layer on her leaf platter. The concrete layer goes down first over the leaves on the form because it picks up the delicate texture and design of the leaves. It waterproofs the platter as well, making a perfect bird puddler.

Sisters loves to learn how to make hypertufa together and Joan and Carol are no exception. They had a great time laughing and learning together.

Max demonstrates how an unattractive plastic planter can be used as a mold to create an outstanding hypertufa planting container. He opted to use this solution for his planter rather than the traditional box form.

Shiloh puts the finishing touches on the edge of her box planter. A neat, finished edge is one sign of a well-made hypertufa piece.

Hypertufa 8's Stepping Stones on display!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Wonderful weather + wonderful people = great Hypertufa ! What a weekend to be outside in the garden and to make nice things to add to it's beauty.

This studio had a nice wide range in ages of tufa-makers.

Lisa's stepping stone is an homage to her terrier.

Lois paid special attention to arranging the fine-leaves creating a border on her leaf platter.

Kathy opted not to make the large leaf platter or a stepping stone because she brought in a
HUGE leaf and made this awesome leaf bowl. Because if its size, it is going to sit for several days before we even think of turning it over and cleaning it up. Too cool to have broken!

Nancy and Brenna work on their leaf platters. Brenna is a high school student who held her own alongside the adults in the session. Kids do very well with concrete and hypertufa. I have four high school studio assistants who are experts at making the stuff!

Sarah's leaf platter gets turned over while she finishes trimming her stepping stone. I had the pleasure of teaching art classes to Sarah's kids, Stefani and Colin. It is easy to see where they get their talent - each of her pieces were picture-perfect.

Hypertufa 7's stepping stones on display.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


It was a very hot weekend and perfect for the wet activity of making recycled handmade paper. We started out the morning by walking through the garden to gather leaves, grasses, herbs and flowers for inclusion in our handmade papers.

After trimming her leaves and flowers for her sheet of paper, Judy mixed them together with pulp and poured the mixture into the deckle and mold forming a sheet of paper.

Jane made this paper with petals from the Hot Cocoa tea rose and leaves from the herb garden.

Suzanne has a sophisticated understanding of color and put together handsome color combinations. I really love this burgundy/purple/green combination.

Another activity in this studio is the making of a model in clay to make a casting mold for paper pulp. Stephanie is pressing wet paper pulp into her plaster mold. The finished casts are light weight and make wonderful ornaments and components for garlands.

Before the plaster mold can be cast with paper pulp, the clay model must be removed and
the finished mold thoroughly dried.

Bon has removed her paper bowl from the hump mold and is trimming the edge for a pleasing finish.

Judy's bowl photographed in the garden that provided its elements.

Drying Paper Bowls

Suzanne's Flower Petal Bowl

This bowl uses one feather strategically placed to serve as its focal point.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Laurie and I finished picking blackberries just as the sun was going down. It was a beautiful time of day, the weather not so harsh and colors vivid and rich. When these berries become jam they will be a rich deep purple.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


The weekend was beautiful and so was the hypertufa. This group was creative and efficient. They took the few challenges we had in stride and went home with some dandy stepping stones, grots, planters and leaf platters.

Carole found a nice big squash leaf in the garden and decided to cast it by itself. It is a unique bowl she can use for serving food.

You could tell Chuck worked for many years in the cement industry. He led the mixing of the pulp and sand for this group like a pro.

The grot (garden gnome) project fascinated participants and they spent much of the second day creating their masterpieces.

Suzi cast her house numbers using glass and epoxy before she came to the session. Here she carefully embedds the numbers into her stepping stone.

Here's the "wet pavement" display of this group's stepping stones.

Irene and Bob came armed with a large bags of shells and were determined to used them somewhere! Bob made a large stepping stone in the shape of a shell and used shells to decorate it. They decided to coordinate their planters and lined the top edges of them with some of their shells. This looks fantastic!