15 February 2010
Trying something a little different
Just for fun, I bought some quick set mortar the other day before the blizzard. Figured I needed to stay busy between trips to the driveway with the shovel. I envisioned an "In Memorium" marker that could be placed pretty much anywhere. These photos capture just the benchmarks of the effort, speaking pretty well for the how the project turned out. You probably can't see, but I put a couple of hand holds on the sides to make it easier to lift. I suspect I'll have to disrupt the ground about and inch or two, so it doesn't stand too proud above the surface. The marker is 6" x 9" x 2". Naturally, it's got a cavity underneath (not seen in the photos) that allows for hiding secrets. The cavity on the bottom is 4" x 5" x 3/4", just big enough for one of Gallant Rogue's vintage camo bags to compression fit inside.
I built a plywood form for the mortar pour that would allow reuse if the project turned out to be successful. I used an exacto knife to cut out letters and a silhouette of a man with a hat (This is suppose to be Mark) from a 1/32 inch thick rubber material commonly used by sandblasters to cut images out of stone and wood. This "Signblast Tape" allowed for easy cutting, adherence to the wood form without sticking to the mortar, and reuse if I do the project again.
The quick set mortar was ready to come out of the form in less than an hour. It came out very easily, as I sprayed PAM on the wood form as a divorcing agent prior to pouring. I strengthened the image with a little black permanent ink which permeated into the mortar (so I am hoping it stays visible in the wild for a little while anyway).
Not sure where to put this yet. It'll serve as a classic "Hide-In-Plain" sight (HIPS) letterbox. I envision it nestled away in a remote corner of a public park or behind a bench at a picturesque viewpoint somewhere here in DC. Hopefully no one will bother it.