- Ideas & How-Tos
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Create rustic, textured containers from a mixture of Portland cement, perlite (or vermiculite), and water. Once you master this technique, you can make containers in any size.
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Measure ingredients in a 1:1:1 ratio in proportion to the volume of your container. Combine Portland cement, perlite (or vermiculite), and peat moss in a large tub or container. Mix ingredients well with your hands before adding 1 part water.
Always wear gloves and a mask when mixing. Remove any large pieces and break up any chunks so they will mix well with the water.
Add water slowly, and mix it in well. Avoid getting the mix too wet.
The proper mixture should have the consistency of cottage cheese - when you squeeze the mix in your hand, it should stick together and a little water should drip from it. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes.
Spray the inside of the 5-quart pail with nonstick cooking spray. Press a little of the mixture into the bottom of the mold. Add more of the mixture, working your way up the sides.
Once the sides are covered with the mixture, insert the 2.5-quart pail into the middle of the 5-quart pail to create a pot. Spray the outside of the 2.5-quart pail with nonstick cooking spray before inserting it into the mixture.
Tap around the outside of the container with a rubber mallet to move large bubbles to the surface. Smooth any lumps around the top edge with your hands to get the desired shape.
Wrap the hypertufa with a plastic bag to hold in the moisture as it cures. Let it set up for 24 to 36 hours before gently removing from the mold. Set in a dry place for two to three weeks to finish drying.
Once the hypertufa pot has cured, tap the sides of the container with the rubber mallet to loosen the container.
The pot will lighten in color as it cures to a light gray. File or sand the edges for a smoother finish. Use a drill and a 3/8" bit to create a drainage hole in the bottom of the pot.
Expand on this basic technique to make interesting hypertufa structures. Change your molds to make larger or smaller pots. Give a pot texture by choosing molds with designs, or add items - such as dowel rods - to the hypertufa mixture.