concrete mix

During the summer, I read an article on the blog ‘a garden in Dordogne‘ (see list of links). He had done some concrete balls by filling odd plastic balls of different sizes. The result was impressive for me, and the idea simply luminous. Plastic balls I have, concrete I can have done for me (!), and I decided to try something : add some colour pigments directly into the mix, to have a coloured ball. So I went to get some oriental red pigment, a vivid red that would bring energy to the shadiest part of the garden.

At the end of a fiddly session, the plastic ball was filled with the mix, ready to be left to dry in the shed.

A week later, I started peeling the plastic carefully…

And to say the truth, I was a bit disappointed by the colour, dark red, instead of bright red as I wanted. Anyway, the funny thing of course is the bottom :

flattened and creased by the weight. Well at least, it won’t roll around the garden, I thought to myself.

So there it is now, left to finish drying in the open air. It’ll need a bit of sanding with sanding paper to make it entirely smooth at the top, and it will count as my first attempt at concrete balls.

When Mike Lucky Spade came back from golf a bit later, he mumbled to himself : “bagger, some kid has kicked his ball into our garden”, and walked straight to it, with the firm intention to send it back… Until he realized it would be better if he wouldn’t try to kick it back !

Jan 7, 2012

7 comments to concrete mix

  • Hi Celine, thanks for the mention.

    I find it easier to make an impression in a small pile of sand with the ball still inflated to create a mould to hold the ball in shape for when I ‘pour’ mortar into it later.This helps to stop the flat bottom.

    I generally peel off the old football after 24 hours or so and then wire brush the ball to get rid of anything unwanted:- The mortar isn’t too solid at this stage and imperfections are removed easily.

    If you want to ‘antique’ them, try painting them with a little yogurt mixed with milk, trust me, they soon go green.

    Bonne Année

  • Sandy Bottoms

    I think it is a good idea and probably much more personally satisfying than having those glazed terracotta balls that you can buy (even if teh end result is not as perfect).
    I look forward to seeing the end result in amongst your foliage or on the patio !!
    Well done.

  • I think making garden balls by filling plastic balls with concrete is a great idea, and I love your choice of colour, my favourite! You can continue doing some more till you get a perfect sphere 🙂

    I hope isn’t sore anymore by the way 🙂

  • What a great idea for a garden ‘sculpture’! Haha, was right about the red pigment afterall 🙂 Can’t wait to see the end result.

  • Virginia R. Anderson

    Hey, i have made a perfect round sphere, what i did is bought a solid net which are bear the weight of the ball filled with concrete, wrapped the ball with a thick cloth so that the plastic ball wont get pressure marks of the net as it’s hanging and left it to dry, you can imagine the end results :).
    I am so happy… 🙂
    you may give it a try what I did and get perfect round sphere.

  • Holly Sapp

    wow… that’s really a great tip Virginia. to avoid the ball to get flattered and creased, just hang it.
    why such any idea didn’t strike to my mind?

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