Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Tufa Torch

This was one of my favorite projects. For the base I went to Home Depot found some cardboard cement forms used for making pillars to hold up a deck or other construction projects. They come in 5 or 6' lengths and you just cut them to the desired height when you get home. I can usually get 3 pillars of different heights out of one of the cardboard forms. I carved the Japanese kanji for peace into the pillar using stencils.

I use the pillars in many of my designs. They make great plant stands, bases for lanterns and bird baths

On top of that I used...what else? A stepping stone made from a 14" plastic plant saucer! I rounded the edges so it fit nicely atop the pillar.

The top element is a large bowl shape. To make it I used my huge stainless steel mixing bowl that I make bread in. I first put it inside of a plastic garbage bag to protect it from the cement. Then I dumped the tufa mix into it. When it was fairly full, I put another plastic covered bowl into the big mixing bowl and wiggled it into the center. You always want to make sure that the sides of your planter or bowl is about 2" thick so keep that in mind when you are inserting one bowl into another.

For the candle I was lucky enough to find at Kmart a Martha Stewart item called a smudge pot that is a copper kerosene container with a thick cotton wick. I put sand in the finished bowl and then placed the smudge pot in that and topped it off with little marbles. If you can't find a smudge pot you could substitute votives placed in sand or something similar.



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