A lively, how-to guide for making decorative concrete sculptures.
After retiring from law at the age of 65, Neswick read an article in a gardening magazine about creating outdoor sculptures using a wire mesh base. The magazine spurred a newfound interest in sculpture for the author, and he became afflicted with what he calls Dementia Concretia, a â€œmental illness, manifested in building things out of concrete.” Written in a cheerful, conversational tone, Neswick explains how readers can become impromptu sculptors using primarily household items and spending a minimal amount of money. The book begins with information on gathering materials, constructing an armature, laying down the concrete and coloring the sculptures with paint. After Neswick demonstrates how to make boulders, rocks and waterfalls, he uses the same principles to construct gargoyles, furniture, fire pits and even a giant orca made from an old junk car. Neswick enjoys making nautically themed sculptures–many of his creations are fish or other sea creatures. Many of the projects are rather simple to construct and involve building a base out of trash before covering the sculpture with concrete. Neswick highly encourages decorating the sculptures with paint, seashells, stones and plastic sea critters. Stylistically, the book would benefit by breaking up the text with more pictures; it includes step-by-step instructions, but the accompanying photographs appear at the end of each segment, making the longer chapters more tedious. Chronologically, the book’s instructions seem strangely organized, as though hastily thrown together. Still, Neswick never claims his yard sculptures are high art, and most of the projects seem fun, if a little kitschy.
An encouraging instructional book about becoming amateur sculpting that would benefit from additional editing.