Faux Bois Stump

Faux Bois is a French word for “artificial wood.” It refers to the art of creating structures like furniture, bridges, and gazebos that look like wood, but are really sculpted and stained concrete.
I am making a Faux Bois Bench for my husband’s gravesite. It will be in a forest clearing at the juncture of three logging roads. I want it to be natural-looking, durable and beautiful.
In order to do a practice piece, get the feel of sculpting in concrete and learn how to stain the created bark without overdoing it, I wanted to make a practice piece: a stump that will function as a stool.
First I cut out styrofoam disks with a jig saw, stacked them to a desirable height and thrust two rebar stakes through them to hold them together.

The next step was to layer the styrofoam with diamond lathe, a rigid metal netting that can be hammered to bulge where you want a tree burl or a root. The lathe was wired together in pieces.

Diamond lathe.

When that was finished, I was ready to layer the armature with the first coat of concrete. I used a very plastic mix (at the suggestion of my concrete expert friend, Andy), one part concrete, three parts silica sand, and sufficient amount of acrylic latex mixed with water to make the concrete easy to thrust through the wires. When the negative spaces were filled in, it looked like this (see also above). I scored the surface everwhere to make the second coat of concrete adhere well.
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