View Full Version : How-TO? Concrete that looks like weathered iron.
02-06-2006, 02:08 PM
I recently purchased a casting of a Chinese deity Quan Yin. When I first saw the casting it look as though the was a Iron casting that had rusted and aged, even looked as though it had a bronze/copper content because of the green streaks in it.
I later found out that it was not a iron casting but a concrete casting coated with some sort of substance that looks or is metal, then etched with acid to age it.
The owner of the shop would not tell me how to contact the artist, I think he thought I would "steal" his art source. I just wanted to learn how the process is done. I do body casting and I would love to combine these two processes.
I have a picture of the item I purchased on my blog at http://usabaker.blogspot.com/
or just the picture here:
Does anybody know this process or where I can get information on it?
02-06-2006, 03:47 PM
02-06-2006, 05:18 PM
Oddist, Thank you for your help I'm not sure that those are the products the artist used. It looks to be a metal coating and the rust on the object is "real" rust. I was told that the artist used acid to execrate the rusting process. I was also told that it would age more if I left it outside.
thanks for all the help I really do appreciate it.
02-06-2006, 06:19 PM
Bronze paint, AKA "gold" paint will turn green if you apply water based paint over it I noticed, which makes sense because the paint has metal flakes in it, the trick is keeping the paint ON.
02-06-2006, 07:59 PM
perhaps one way of doing this type of finish
is to use a metallic paint that is designed to be reactive
this type of paint accepts certain patinas
Sculpture Supply Canada offers such paints
and the patina or rusting agents that go with them
the paints are available in iron, gold and copper
and patinas are green, blue, black and rust
another option is to embed metal powders into the cast cement
(this sounds more like what you are looking for)
the cast surface can then be treated with patina
for larger cement castings it would be expensive
to mix the metal through the entire cast
rather, a method of fixing it to the surface
would be more economical
for example, spraying the mold with a water soluable adhesive
sprinkiling the powdered metal
then pouring in the cement
gives a description of metal powders, including iron
they should also be available on ebay
hope this helps,
02-06-2006, 08:12 PM
Thats a good resource for me too because I have done metallic old/dirty bronze finishes on my hydrocal casts using stain, paints and other techniques, but I now want to add an effective looking iron as well as a rusty iron look.
The place has a 97 page catalogue in PDF file format, lots of great stuff in there!
02-07-2006, 10:32 AM
Thank you EVERYONE for all the help! What a great group of people here! :)
Now for the trial... What to cast is the only question I have left but only I can answer that.
02-09-2006, 03:11 AM
I'm based in London where we've got a specialist sculptural materials shop (tiranti.co.uk), and they have created their own plaster mix which comes out in a terracotta and rusty red. It contains metal filings (presumably like you'd use in a resin mix) which rusts.
I was told this would age when left outside. What any treatment with acid would do, I have no idea!
And whether you can get hold of this in States is another question entirely... :)
Direct link to the terracotta plaster:
02-10-2006, 08:56 AM
I have used stuff at Pearl (craft store) that was a 2 step process.
1: paint on a mixture which contained iron shavings
2: paint on an activator in multiple coats to cause the iron in step 1 to rust. The results were amazing. Several hours-instant rust. It was especially nice since i only wanted the rust to occur in several areas.
You can add virtually anything into your cementicious mix with great results. One of the main drawbacks is that you can end up using a lot of expensive material as aggregate in order to achieve the proper ratio of oxidizing aggregate to cement substrate. This is not a problem is you're just using the sweepings from under the grinding table. Another thought on the process you seek would be METAL SPRAYING. This is a process in which a special spray gun is used to shoot molten metal onto a substrate. It cools and hardens quickly and if properly applied will look like a genuine metal casting. If the 'crust' on your original sculpture has any real thickness to it, say 1/16 of an inch or more, this is likely the process used. Many fabrication shops can do this for you, additionally there are many smaller versions of this equipment on the market now suitable for machine shop, art and craft use.
02-10-2006, 01:12 PM
If you do any metal cutting, or know anybody that does, you could possibly take a large quantity of metal filings and mix them with your concrete. or apply them to the surface of an object. Not exactly what you were lookign for but could still impart a look of rusty metal to something that was not metal. I have been saving filings from my chop saw, band saw and welding table for about a year in anticipation of applying them to some sculpture surface.
02-11-2006, 07:22 PM
Many hardware stores sell kits to patina copper, bronze, brass and rusting steel,
but you might find a better solution (no pun intended) with Ron Young at Sculpt Nouveau (http://www.sculptnouveau.com/) who provides larger quantities at a better price.
A home grown method might be nothing more than going to a local scrap yard and buying a coffee can full of copper and iron/steel filings that you can sprinkle on your concrete surface followed with some liquid plant food (miracle grow) or chemical fertilizer in a misting bottle. I think copper filings and liquid plant food will probably provide a suitable greenish stain and iron for dark brown to black.
03-28-2006, 10:37 AM
The simplest way to get a "rust effect" on concrete is to make it actually rust. A very simple & inexpensive technique is to simply apply ferrous oxide. Either as a solution or in it's native crystaline form...or both. It is non-toxic and can be found at any agricultural supply (as a feed & soil conditioning supplement) and many garden centers. I pay about $8.00 US for a forty pound bag, and since a cup is more than enough to make five gallons of solution, it goes a very long way. Pour it on, paint it on, or on falt work & surfaces simply toss the crystals on. It works very quickly and is absolutely permenent. You can only remove the rust "stains" by removing the surface mechanically or with acid. And it is "real rust" that you can control the degree of by how much ferrous oxide you apply.
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