Sunday, December 14, 2014

Making Stone with Cork

There are many ways of using cork to make stone and brick, this is just my technique. I am by far the first person to use cork, I learned from the best and adapted to fit my needs and style.

Tools: jewelers file, tweezers, scalpel or hobby knife, balsa strip cutter, sandpaper.

Supplies: CA or wood glue, cork sheet, MDF or any other non flexible material to use as the base.

Determine the sizes of stone you want; using the balsa strip cutter, cut strips of the cork sheet.

Make several different sizes to give the stone variety. You will come into spots were you will have to use either larger or smaller pieces to fill in spots. To accommodate that simply use a larger strip size than you need and cut it to the custom size.
Here is the basic wall section cut from the MDF board ready for stone installation.
Select the larges size strip of cork, this will be used to make your corner stones. Always start from the corner and work outward. Corner stones need to be larger as in real life its the corners that bear the weight of the building.
Using the jewelers file or sandpaper, ease off the sharp cut corners on three sides of the stone. leave one of the short sides untouched. This plays a big part in making the corners go in seamlessly and appear to be one large stone.
Hear you will notice that only three edges were sanded. The stones are ready for installation.
To give depth to the wall, remove a this section from the back of the stone. This will "sink" the stone into the wall and sit deeper than the rest. Be careful not to over do this step, only do it to select stones.
Install the corner stones so that they are placed the thickness of the cork PAST the corner of the wall. You need this overhang to complete the stones You also want the edge you did not sand to be the edge that is over hanging here.
Next, cut more corner stones for the other side of the corner. Sand the same way as before leaving one edge sharp and square. Place the sharp and square side tight against the previously installed stones. You want very little if not any gap between these edges.
Using the file, ease over the edges of the stones and blend the two pieces of each stone together. These stone have now become one.
Continue blending with a wire brush, I prefer the brush pen from Eurotool. This will add stone texture to the cork and help blend the seam lines turning it into one stone.
Close up of adding texture. Notice I have also added damaged stone as if it had been chipped away. This was all done with the wire brush.
Completed cornerstones. Notice how the blending makes it appear to be one large stone that makes up the corner.
 I cut each stone individually. Place the strip of cork down and cut were you feel it is appropriate.

Continue cutting and placing the stones, selecting and cycling through different sizes as you go. Always stagger your joints. No more than two stones should line up at any given area.

To give more depth to the wall, use thin cork or thick paper to "shim" the stone.
Cut the thin stock to the same size as the stone and glue to the back of the stone. Place the stone on the wall just as you did before. This stone will stick out of the wall now.
Continue placing you stone. Notice how the stones vertical joints are all staggered, even if slightly. This is critical to a realistic wall.

Continues to texture the stones as you go or after you are finished. Just make sure you don't do this until the glue is dry as to not move the stones. This is why I use CA glue, it takes seconds to dry and I can keep working.
The finished stone laying and texture.
Adding the mortar:

You will need wall patching compound, a stiff toothbrush, and a disposable paintbrush for this stem. Also suggested is a palette knife of wooden stir stick to spread the compound, but fingers also work.

Spread the filler on the stones using some pressure to press it deep into the joints.
This is what it should look like at this point. Don't worry, it will look better soon

Using the stiff toothbrush and light pressure, remove the excess filler by moving the toothbrush in a circular motion. This will create a descent mess, so be ready for that.

Once the excess filler is removed, use the cheap paintbrush to clean off all of the loose filler residue and dust.

The wall should look like this now. Let the filler dry, touch up any spots that need more, then you can prime and paint your wall.

That is all there is to it folks! Very easy just time consuming and tedious work. But there is no other way to get realistic looking hand laid stone than to hand lay the stone in scale.

In this image you can see how removing thin sections from some stones and adding to others really adds texture to the wall.

There you have it, all the steps I take to complete my stone work. I hope you all enjoyed this article and maybe have been inspired to give it a try!

Happy modeling-

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