Making a Hypertufa Garden Sculpture: Leaf Project


I like to work in different media– sometimes drawing, sometimes painting, wood, metal, and now, a cement-based sculptural form called hypertufa.

After 24 hours, I took a look at the finished hypertufa leaf

After 24 hours, I took a look at the finished hypertufa leaf

I first experimented in it with my planter trough project, and I decided I would try to create a more sculptural element after visiting the gardenweb hypertufa forum and watching a couple youtube videos based around this topic.

In this post, I’ll explore creating a hypertufa leaf garden ornament, which will add a decorative drip pan under a rain-gutter downspout, or as a component for a water feature for a garden or back yard.

I used a similar recipe for mixing the hypertufa as for the trough, but this time, I made it roughly 1:1:1 cement, perlite, and peat moss.



First, I gathered some semi-moist sand and created a mound for the leaf.  Next, I cut a large Calla Lily leaf from our back flower bed (don’t tell my girlfriend).  I chose one with very distinct stems and veins that I felt would be prominent enough to register in as a mold for the hypertufa.  I sprayed the leaf with PAM cooking spray to act as a mold release.

I placed the leaf face down into the sand, and started troweling the mixture onto the bakc of the leaf, careful to keep the relative shape of the leaf and not get too thin–or risk creating a fragile cast.

After I loaded all of the mix onto the leaf, I smoothed it out and placed a plastic bag over it and let it sit in a shady spot for 24 hours.

After the allotted time, I carefully flipped the cast over and removed the leaf mold.  The photos show the result.

Pretty cool!  I’m going to let it sit for another couple days to cure a bit more before adding it under our rainspout.


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Jason Sipe Jason Sipe (68 Posts)

Jason Sipe is an artist, craftsman and writer. He has spent the last 20 years working in the art and media fields. He now turns to this blog and helping others learn about creating art as his main focus.

4 thoughts on “Making a Hypertufa Garden Sculpture: Leaf Project

  1. That’s awesome what you can do with that stuff! How did you ever learn to get started with it?

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    • Hi Zach, thanks for checking out my website.

      I have a very eclectic interest in many different things, and I’ve always wanted to teach myself concrete sculpture.
      This type of cement-based material is much lighter than concrete, but can withstand the different climate changes of Portland, Oregon.
      I’m currently doing a full concrete garden statue, and I’ll post a photo if/when it is finished.

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    • Thanks, Alejandra–are you into doing hypertufa?

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