concrete ampersand

i believe i've mentioned before that i am in the lettering trend group at work. also at work, we have an art gallery that rotates every 2 to 3 weeks. well, the lettering trend group is having an art show starting next week in the gallery - woohoo. the main part of the show is ping pong paddles - i'll show what i made for that part of the show next week maybe. in addition to our ping pong paddles we were each going to make another piece or pieces to fill out the gallery. these other pieces could be whatever we wanted and not limited to type or lettering. i'm not really a painter (in fact, i am really good at messing up with paint and getting it everywhere except where it's supposed to go) and i wouldn't call myself an illustrator, so i made little sculptures or knick knacks or thingamabobs. i decided to play with making molds and pouring concrete. i've never worked with either one (unless you count patching up the causeway at the lake with concrete.) my molding compound is OOMOO silicone mold-making rubber. i got a cheap cake mold as my molding tray. i found a little kraft paper ampersand that i really liked the shape of and decided to use that as my base. the hardest part of making the mold was that paper ampersand wanted to float to the top of the silicone. so the mold making didn't go as i envisioned in my head, but in the end it worked out great. then i got smooth stepping stone concrete, an old beach pail and a paint stirring stick. the concrete is easy to mix and pour - the only trick there was to not mix too much concrete each time (i made a few garden stones with the extra.) each one took about 24 hours to dry and they were easy to pop out of the mold. i left some of them blank and glued on some rubber silicone feet so they don't scratch up your shelves or desk or what not. then on some i dipped them in neon paint. the paint was a little tricky because it wanted to crack as it dried, but with the cracked ones i just dipped them once or twice more and they turned out. so, if you happen to be in the building head on up to the gallery next week to check these out or buy one for yourself.
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