House Blessings

House Blessings
Symbols, Nature and Kanji

Cement and hypertufa house blessings

Cement and hypertufa house blessings

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Easter Island / Troll

This is where  I start.

Easter Island/Troll (day one).
No, I am not done yet, and no, I don't know where this is going! I opened  the 3rd eye and put a quartz crystal in the void and was not feeling it. Now, I want to make this a solar light with the enlighten 3rd eye awake, so it is time to learn about solar I guess, oh joy. I may remove the crown of the head to make room for the light.... The hat??? optional.
The color will be less garish when dried, more of a  terracotta hue by the seasons end.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nature's Shed Skin

As a kid, I would dig with anticipation  in the our rural  back yard,  hours eroded with hopes of a T-Rex skull or a clutch of Triceratops eggs, well  that  didn't happen, but my passion for archeology still burns on. Where this is leading is? I want to create fossil pillars and objects for the garden, without it looking like a pet cemetery exhibit or road kill instillation.
The scull was found in the woods and my father drug it home thinking it is a great display item for outside their front door (Blair Witch curb appeal) NOTHING  says welcome like a dead animal at the threshold of your home. I will play with the idea, and when I find a "dignified" way to use the remains I will post  it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hypertufa, Art and objects for the Garden

lucky coins curing.

Hypertufa, Art and objects for the Garden

The I Ching (Classic of Changes or Book of Changes), also known as the Yi Jing, Yijing, or I Ging,
I have started to use a dremel to create fitted openings for  assorted objects. I came across the coins the other day and saw a marriage in the making.
due to slightly warmer weather, I can handle the curing objects quicker without the fear of breakage.
More bridges (using pigment) means I have to make more water elements with complementarity color.

Hypertufa, Art and objects for the Garden

Well I made another one; again I tempted the material to see how much I could remove and still keep strength and integrity.... I think I have another ugly baby. This is an orb pillar, but it would have been better suited as a Birdbath base, sometimes you just need to create and get things out. 
 I was more thoughtful in the layering, trying to keep a mental picture of the colors, amount and depth.
trial and error, what is too much...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gardens and Crystals

I can not seem to get a good picture of this, but I will keep trying. We had the "super moon" last night and although I could not necessarily see this freakishly gigantic orb, it was felt energetically in my inability to focus.

yes, looks like a crime scene weapon 
Walt Disney hurl?  Maybe I was going  for that!

So for me, sometimes, I need to let go and just create without an intended outcome, kind of a pallet cleaner for creativity's benefit. The result, is of my taste, but I would suspect few would gather in attendance to agree. I am still modifying and digging around, but as time will have it, that window is closing as it's getting too solid as I writing this.
well, I have finished, or rather the object has finished with me, I was lacking in choice as it were. I think I love this as a mother loves her ugly baby. I don't expect others to ogle and coo, but to speak of the conditions of the roads and the weather when my baby is present, this is officially my "Elephant in the room" instillation.

Hypertufa, Art and objects for the Garden

I poured this last night in haste, (this is one of my "bridges")  I mixed too much Hypertufa  for the object I intended to work on. It is still curing and damp, so I will leave it another day before I start to carve whatever I am inspired by in 24 hours. I am still apprehensive about using color in the garden, but am so influenced by my time in Japan, it spills out often in my work. Maybe  this would work into a fountain feature or water element....with the kanji symbol for "Truth" inscribed on the red

and this is where it fits into the landscape.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hypertufa spiral, crystal and color

The white speckles is crushed shells

 I poured this last night using 3 pigments; red, mustard and black, using the pure Hypertufa to separate the colors in a experiment to create geologic sediment appearance. I have no idea what this will look like when cured, but, I think the next time I try this I will skip the crushed shell as I think it threatens the already compromised cement's integrity. 
Like anything else, I learned how I want to approach my next project and how the pigmented Hypertufa needs to be poured to try to control the areas to be effected.
This is my mold, duct tape and 3 plastic ties keep the stovepipe  together as well as easy release the next day.

The crystal was a last minute decision, so I made a cavity at the center and will use pure cement to keep it in place, I hope!

Monday, March 14, 2011


I want address why I prefer exploring this medium opposed to others possibilities currently available. Besides being a lighter weight substance than cement, "Hypertufa" after seasoning in the shade (where it can retain moisture)  starts to degrade and induces organic activity where colony's thrive in the texture and pits left through the erosion process of the peat moss. So for a person of my my nature, (Garden Designer/Art Enthusiast) this is a perfect blend to create" form" and "life" that folds into the landscape flora effortlessly. For me, this is a elevated Art form, one that actually breaths, rich with life.
5 months of seasoning.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Water Element Inserts


Still working on Ideas of interest for element "Inserts"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nurseries with freak plants

I love plants that my neighbor's don't have, most gardeners I know have this same proclivity. Here is one of my "not so secret" Nurseries in Portland, well, Sauve Island to be more precise, (20 minuets outside of Portland). They travel the world seeking the hardy and at time not so hardy exotics...Check em out!

"Karma Dispenser "
                                                                  sleeveless Tee
                                                              ( give em a heads up)
"Hypertufa" Tribal  fountain spitters.
"Hypertufa   Fountain" I made deep pockets for Licorice Ferns
 (I hope).


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Contrast and Texture Plants for Northwest Winters

A reoccurring theme in a garden consultations goes something like this; " I want a colorful low maintenance garden", followed by a list of plants
 grandma raised that are attractive for 3 hours and die back to a  aspiring tumbleweed.
 At this point I move the conversation to "Garden Bones". For me, I want to look out the window in  dismal and dank February seeing structure and color  that  remains the entire year. Things to consider such as, the plant's texture, growth pattern, maintenance needs (water soil sunlight), color, placement  gets addressed and my opinion finds my tongue. So, here are a few pictures of plants shot in real-time winter, (in zone 8) that meet the criteria of hardy attractive and colorful for the whole calendar year.

                                                                    Center piece plants
 I will typically start with a large statement Plant, building off it's attributes with complementary contrasting sub plantings,( If the client wants subtle), I will pull one color from the center piece plant and repeat  in mass plantings.

Cryptomeria J. "elegans Aurea" (japanese cedar)

"Alaskan Weeping Cedar" narrow, architectural  and evergreen

Cryptomeria japonica Spiralis

                                            Supporting players
Hebes = vivid Color

Lonicera nitida 'Baggesen's Gold

Hebe cupressoides

Choisya 'Aztec Pearl' 
Hebe Sutherlandii
                                                       Christmas lights in march...

Blue Star Juniper 
Spider web Fatsia
Yeah, Zonal denial, winter can be cruel to white variegation, But this is everyone's favorite plant that tours the garden!
SO I included it in the hardy list..
Windmill Palm  (bold foliage)

Algerian Ivy


                                                        Ground covers 
Black Mondo  and Nana Mondo Grass
Heronswood Lambs Ear
sedums and succulents 
Rubus (not on market)....yet

Sedum Angelina
Blackbird Euphorbia
"Firefly" winter color Heather