There is no getting away for my thing for cement. Fantasies of making things out of it abound in ‘improvised life’s archives
and for years Working with Cement was in the stack of books on my bedside table. When I was renovating what was to become ‘improvised life’s Laboratory
, I contemplated surrounding the tub in cement as in the image above, but didn’t think of casting a sink and surface out of it. I love the look, and imagine you might get something similar with paint (it looks kind of like chalkboards, wiped clean…).
The harsh realities of cement is that unless you do it yourself, it’s expensive to have cast and polished, a discovery I made chasing after my fantasy of polished cement floors. (Which, in hindsight, I am very glad I didn’t do, since cement is hard on the legs, unlike wood.)
The cement-o-philes I know that actually make things out of it have warned me of how tiring it is to work with; the stuff is heavy. Still I hold out the fantasy of trying my hand with the stuff, perhaps making a Aalvo Aalto doorstop as the late great Tobias Wong
did, with the little knockoff Aalto vase I picked up in Finland. (Do I dare? I’d have to smash the vase…)
If I had 10,000 square feet instead of 1,000, I’d have a cement mixer, table saws and shop, a welding forge…
I’m okay with starting small.