Wednesday, 23 November 2016
For the last fifteen years or so I have slowly been accumulating mosaic tiles - leftovers from various projects they inevitably end up piled in heavy plastic tubs stored in the shed.
More recently, the garden has been accumulating weeds at a frantic rate. In particular the pebbled edges of the concrete pathways and driveway.
These two issues weren’t related until I sat down to weed the driveway edge for the zillionth time and came up with a great idea that could improve both the weed situation AND the leftover tile situation at once. And so the Family Paver Project was born.
My plan was to have each of our Sunday night dinner guests roughly design a mosaic concrete paver that I could complete and lay into the rocky strip, thus reducing the opportunity for weeds to poke through the stones, and also adding some colour to the grey grey driveway area.
Of course I’d never created pavers before. So my first task was to work out how to do it - I really haven’t done much work with concrete - but after a few minutes after a bit of you-tubing I was dangerously ill-equiped and ready to forge ahead with the prototype. I cut down three of those white plastic tubs which can be bought everywhere so I could use them as moulds, Then I had Zali arrange the tiles for one paver, while I did another two. (it tuns out that one 20kg bag of concrete creates 3 pavers).
After transferring the tiles to the moulds, it was time to do the concrete bit.
How not to concrete:
Despite making the first of the above mistakes, the first three pavers came out a ok - they looked a bit rough at first, but after cleaning them up, they looked good.
With the concept proven, the next Sunday I shepherded as many guests as I could down to the craft area to create a design. Under the threat of no dinner for non-compliance, we got some nice results. Unfortunately there wasn’t time and space for everyone to have a go, but I got a good selection of people and generations.
As it took about a week for each batch of 3 pavers to dry, it took about 4 weeks for me to get them all completed, including having to re-create a few due to paving error number 3.
Then, a few trips and adventures later (i.e weeks and weeks), I finally had time to lay them. First i pulled out all the rocks, then put sand and stuff under each of them..
This paver on the right is my favourite - it reminds me of an aurora, it reminded Clare of the earth. It’s actually one of my grandmothers pottery plates. She used to make them to sell at Salamanca for charity. I feel it’s a bit like publishing and album posthumously. I’m sure she’d be cool about it.
And so ended the paver project. It was a long project but I'm happy with how it turned out. And as long as I don't reverse over every single paver with the car, they should last a long time!