Thanks to Michael Fletcher for stepping up as the ShapeCrete Night maker manager. Read on to hear all about the awesome messiness….
By Michael Fletcher: On August 19th, Decatur Makers was given the opportunity to experiment with a new medium and see what we could do with it. ShapeCrete™, a relatively new product developed by the SAKRETE® concrete company, is designed to be more moldable, sculptable, and user-friendly to artists, crafters, and makers. Ordinary cement products have been used for years by DIY-ers but are limited by the need to have molds or ‘forms’ to work with; ShapeCrete behaves more like clay but hardens to a stone-like finish and texture.
We had a surprisingly large turnout on that Wednsday night, over 25 people came to participate in the hands-on project. There was also a bustle of other activities happening at the space that evening. Other maker subgroups were busy preparing their fun showpieces & interesting gadgets for the Beltline’s Lantern Festival, Decatur Book Festival, and Atlanta Maker Faire so the space was energized and the creative juices were flowing.
The ShapeCrete build night was one of our first attempts at a larger (and somewhat messier) arts & crafts oriented project. At first it was a small challenge to adapt ourselves to the maker spacer in its state of ‘pre-construction flux’ but figuring out the ways to get-it-done is always part of the maker game. So, after a few short delays (aka ‘learning moments’) the concrete was being mixed, passed out and played with, hands got covered in thick gray goo, and then cool stuff began to materialize… all fashioned by our cross-section of maker folks – who ranged in age from about 6 to 60 years young.
Some of the items crafted were: a hot-rod car, a decorative leaf, an address plaque for a home, several curvy, organically-shaped bowls, pots & lamps, even a human hand (molded in a latex surgical glove). Projects were left on a cart to ‘cure’ for several days. They were picked up later and taken home by our participants for painting, finishing, turning into lamps or other practical things, or for display just ‘as-is’.
That will not be the end of our ShapeCrete experience here at Decatur Makers. We are planning on having a follow-up build in the near future. To accommodate the greater community interest and larger attendance a separate project night will be designated so we can be free to have more sharing and interaction, to learn more about the material and be able help more with each other’s projects. We’d also like to document the next build with lots of photographs and be prepared to submit some tutorials to share on the internet through our Instructables page. Keep an eye on our website Events Page and also our Facebook and MeetUp pages for future announcements soon.