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Frequently Asked Questions

You should be able to get answers to many of the question you may have for me. If you are unable to get your answer here, please feel free to contact me at contact@cowboy-zen.com.

Q: Aren’t your pieces really heavy?
A: The work is not as heavy as it would be if I used conventional concrete mixes; meaning, the type of concrete used in sidewalks and foundations for instance. Most of my pieces will weigh approximately 2/3 less than conventional concrete would.

Q: How do you make your sculptures?
A: Some of the pieces are cast from a mould or form, some are hand formed and some are a combination of both. I will frequently carve the concrete after the piece has "set".

Q: Where does the color in your work come from?
A: All of the colorants used in my work are powdered pigments which I add to the dry materials prior to adding any liquid. I frequently like to use combinations of color in a single piece.

Q: Why do the surfaces of many of your sculptures look metallic?
A: When I infuse the concrete mixture with powdered metals it causes the finished concrete to take on what I call an "angle sheen". When the light hits the surfaces at a certain angle, it will appear to have a metallic glow, especially on the highly polished pieces. Even the unpolished areas will sometimes take on a more subdued metallic look.

Q: How do you get the concrete to feel so silky and look so shiny?
A: I use a very labor intensive process of grinding and polishing which begins with a course abrasive and ends with a very fine grit polishing disc. If the piece is to be placed in an indoor location, I will wax and polish it with a high grade beeswax polish which intensifies that silky, shiny feel and look.

Q: Can your work be placed both indoors and out? And is it susceptible to freeze/thaw conditions?
A: The answer to both questions is yes. Concrete can be vulnerable to freezing temperatures and should be covered or brought indoors if at all possible. Larger pieces or "installations" which are permanent structures are usually not as apt to have such vulnerability. Temperate climates are concrete friendly and my work will flourish and gradually weather to a venerable patina. As most of the colors I use tend to be neutrals and earthy tones, aging is complimentary.

Q: How do I care for my concrete sculpture?
A: You should treat your concrete sculptures as you would any fine metal or ceramic object of art. An occasional application of a good beeswax wax/polish will restore the luster. I suggest using a 0000 grade steel wool to apply the wax in a light circular motion and when dry (hazy looking) buff with a very soft cloth. If you own an unpolished piece, rinsing in clean water to keep it clean is about all the care it will need.

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