In Pursuit of Stone
"My Journey in Creation and Production of Cast Stone Sculpture"
Some collectors of my art may not be aware of my interest in rocks and stones.
After moving into our current home, I would spend hours in the evening looking through the woods behind our
home for stones and large rocks. Then dragging them into my backyard to arrange like sculptures.
Since 2007, I have been on a long journey perfecting the casting and production of cast stone products. My initial
vision for this project was to create old cars to decorate gardens. I have always been fascinated with how cool
junk cars look and the character of the rust over time. I thought to have something like that for gardens would be
lots of fun and maybe a marketable item.
I have always trended towards quality materials and longevity, so concrete was
the only real choice. Plus, as the stone ages in the weather, it produces a beautiful look that only Mother
Nature can do.
The first project was of course the 1948 Tucker Car. I sculpted the car as large as possible out of clay. This was
a giant first step coming from miniatures. I used basic tools and feel the piece came out pretty good all things
considered. I made a mold and cast a few in concrete. You can see how time has placed a beautiful patina on the
Since that first project over
seven years ago, I have learned much about what seems to be at first, an
easy medium to work with. Anyone who has worked with concrete knows about the "weird science"
behind this liquid stone. I have literally gone through hundreds of
formulas and experiments. Plus I have had hundreds and maybe thousands of failures and rejects.
At some point I found the right mix and casting technique. Years of experiments and
hard work has finally resulted in the rock solid castings I get today. Below is a brief journey of my pursuit of
The Tucker project was
lots of fun but the first thing I realized was the weight would be a big
problem for shipping. The Tucker casting weighed 25 pounds. So I decided to create cars a little smaller. Here
are some samples. These are a couple of pounds
I then decided
to broaden the subject matter and offer a wider
range of products and styles.
After I sculpted, molded and cast about 50 different
designs, I entered the Cleveland Home and Garden Show in 2009.
After the show, I experimented with some other colors
and recipes for concrete.
One thing I learned from doing the Home and Garden
Show is that weight was still a problem. Moving around a large quantity of sculptures was a lot of work.
So I decided to try a different approach. This time I created a plaque that was thin and had two stainless
steel rods in the bottom so you could just push the piece into the ground. The first designs were birds and
marketed under the "American Gift Stone" name. You may have seen some of these in Wild Birds
The pieces could be displayed in the box that it came
After the American Gift Stone project, I tried to
market some concrete sculptures for indoor use and for the giftware market.
Taking this mouse theme further and incorporating them
into the plaque idea,
I started working on a series of holiday and special occasion themes.
Above, are the
clay masters - Below are the cast
Above is an example of the "Angel Series" I
made for loved ones to place at grave sites or in a flower garden.
Below is one of the mouse plaques converted to a ground stone.
The final idea I tried in this medium was a line of
motorcycle sculptures using colored concrete and iron oxides to accent. This project was called "Rusty Old
This developed into another finish using iron
I then changed
the design so that the sculpture could be displayed in a multiple of ways, from self-standing, hang with a hook, or display outdoors.
The idea hit me to try a painted finish that resembled
And finally after my long journey in
this medium, the time had come for me to move onto something else. So I am no longer making these products. If
you have collected any of these pieces, you have something rare as production was always very low.
Thank you for you interest in my art.
Randall Zadar is an Artist and Sculptor of Zadar Studios. Located in Strongsville Ohio.