I’ve been obsessing over these terrazzo planters, plates and coasters that have been popping up all over my Instagram feed recently. Usually reserved for in person workshops, a few terrazzo artists have been creating lockdown appropriate at home kits instead!
I’d originally seen the ones from Katie Gillies at the beginning of lockdown but they sold out so fast! Instead I found another kit from Salt Studios offering a very similar thing. The main difference between them are the moulds you use for the item you’re making! Katie Gillies offers a coaster or tray kit and Salt Studios makes a small plant pot.
The rest of the kits are pretty similar. They use something called Jesmonite AC100, an acrylic composite, as the casting material to which you add different pigments for the different colours.
You start off mixing the powder and liquid and different pigments for your “chips”. You need just small amounts of each colour (I was naughty and split the mix to make 3 different coloured chips rather than the recommended two). It’s important to keep the ratios of liquid to powder to pigment the same to ensure it all sets properly! Each different colour is thinly spread out onto plastic sheets to set.
Once set you just need to break it into pieces and then set them aside for the next step!
After that, you mix the rest of the jesmonite and the pigment for your base colour. Add in the chips and you’re ready to pour into the moulds!
I’ll be honest I did this especially badly which you can tell by the number of air bubbles in the end product. I should have gone slower and continuously tapped and shaken the mould to get rid of the bubbles as I went.
Once it’s set, which takes around 20mins, you remove the mould and wet sand the pot to bring out the design. (I got a bit frustrated doing this so I ended up giving it to my brother in law to finish up!).
There’s a sealant included to seal off the pot at the end to help make it waterproof though they also recommend cutting the mould so that you can use the “cup” shape in the inside of the pot long term in order to make it properly watertight.
The kit comes with everything you need barring a weighing scale, buckets of water and sponge. It’s easy to do though it does have a short working time so speed and accuracy are of the essence!
I’m reasonably happy with my first attempt. It’s far from perfect but it makes me want to try it again!