Setting Up Your Hypertufa Studio

The Artisans Workshop

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Many crafts don't require a whole lot - a simple bench, with light to see by and a bit of storage.  Hypertufa needs a bit more, but it still doesn't have to be complicated.

Setting Up Your Hypertufa Studio...

Here's how I set up my studio.  Fall is usually my best time to make hypertufa, so my working area is seasonal. 

Since I sold my online plant business a while ago, the plants no longer need any kind of care in the fall, and the weather is usually perfect for making some of my crafts.

As long as the temperatures don't go below freezing, I'm busy making millstones, thumb pots and pinch pots, among other projects. 

Safety First - examination gloves and dust masks...

The cement has to cure in damp conditions without getting too cold, so as soon as the nights get really chilly progress grinds to a halt. 

Molds can be anything - line thrift store bowls, ice cream containers, light fixtures and so on with poly film in varying weights to give you different textures.

Poly film in various weights cut into squares

The best situation for me is to use my greenhouse - it's got the perfect height benches, and a water supply, as well as bright light from the plastic roof. 

Storage is not that crucial, because all the pots will go outdoors, hopefully when the first rains start to fall, and they can continue to cure up until the snow flies.

Don't spend tons of money on tools and supplies - coffee cans make great scoops

The trick is to try and use up all your supplies so they run out at the same time - if you're left with a bit of peat moss, or perlite, those are fine left until next year, but the portland cement powder doesn't last through the winter (damp or humid air turns it into concrete - duh!)

If you don't have the right ingredients, there are some substitutes if you need them.

Texture making tools...

My water supply is rainwater captured from the roof of the woodshed, up above the house. 

This is piped down using gravity to the barrels in the greenhouse - rainwater is perfect, because it's what is called 'soft' water, meaning it has no minerals in it. 

If all you have is tap water or from a well, that's fine, but keep in mind that your finished projects could show the minerals as they leach out. 

Get them outside into the rain, if possible.

My favorite Hawes watering can - it has perfect balance...

A few other things not mentioned before - a tub to mix the hypertufa in - I have a bussing tub from a restaurant, and it's the perfect size. 

Bats, which are just plywood scraps to put the projects on to dry, and scissors or razor knife to cut the bags of supplies open and cut the pieces of poly film into manageable sizes.

Here are some supplies that I rely on;

Portland Cement Powder this ingredient is essential for making hypertufa, and it's easy to find in most hardware stores, or here from my affiliate.

Perlite is one of the other ingredients that is needed - some people use Vermiculite, but I rely on Perlite for its ease of mixing, and the fact that it's light.

Peat Moss - there are some alternate products such as sawdust or coir, but I always come back to peat moss. Sieve it first to get the lumps out!

Other things you'll find indispensable when you get set up are the following supplies;

Plastic Drop Sheets can be saved from other projects, or bought new for each project.

Vinyl Examination Gloves are important to protect your hands from the caustic concrete.

Dust Masks are something I never attempt to go without - take care of your lungs!

Your hypertufa studio might look totally different, and you'll evolve  your own methods and find other tools that work best for you.

Keep an open mind when browsing the thrift store or even in your own house - you never know when you'll happen across the perfect item to make your hypertufa crafting easier.

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