Cement Statutes

One of the wonderful benefits of being married to an indigenous potter is the constant flow of other artists who come and do contract jobs in his studio.  I have met many amazing painters, potters and sculptors.  All of them are self or community taught.  There's no art school certificates hanging any where with their name printed on it.

Recently, a cement artist, Alvaro, came to the shop to teach the hubby how to create cement statues.  You'd never suspect that this simple, chain smoking, plastic clog wearing guy in his 30's was an artist just by looking at him.  But as it turns out, he's quite the sculptor.

I've always liked cement sculptures, especially tribal and Indonesian styles, so I was really excited to see how in the world you sculpt something as liquidy as soft cement or as hard as dry cement.  I'm sure there are lots of other fancy ways to do this, but one of great things about trying to do  just about anything here in Costa Rica (where supplies are hard to come by) is the imaginative ways that people can get from point A to B to accomplish something.  To create the basic form that the wet cement was poured into, Alvaro used cement blocks and created a tower.   He then poured the cement into the tower and let it set for about an hour.  

When the bricks were removed, the cement was soft set and he began to carve it using a variety of kitchen knives and a saw.  

After about 2 hours, he was finished carving.  He made it look so easy!!  The statute dried overnight and the next day a tan mineral paint was applied. 

This beautiful statue now stands in the middle of the studio, carrying all of the indigenous pottery books on his head.  It's he gorgeous??

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