DIY Fondue Pot

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DIY Fondue Pot

Postby alanpeck » April 27th, 2009, 2:04 pm

This is something anyone can try. It will deliver a truely unique and dramatic looking pot or slab for your collection and compliment the tree you choose to use if chosen correctly.
The basic ingredients are 12mm chicken wire (hardwear store), fibreglass or acrylic close weave cloth (boat supplies), Cement Fondue can be found in 2 or 5 kg bags (potters suplies) and lots of creativity.
After the first attempt you will find out that the end result uses up a larger than you thought peice of base material.
So I suggest that you first aim for a piece of wire/cloth about 800mm X 500mm for your starter pot.
First sew on the chicken wire in as many places that your patience will allow, but every 50mm will give a good result. Make sure you also sew along all four edges after you have folded over 20mm. The idea here is that you are giving the cloth support with the wire so you can bend and form it to the desired shape.
Don't use ordinary cotton thread, you need the heavier grade thread or fine twine. A curved needle is ideal. You may have to join a few peices together first to give you the size. (see pic)
Fondu 01.jpg
Fondu 02.jpg

In order to make the flat surface you now have irregular, plete at 40/50mm folds in one direction, open out then plete in the other direction then ease that out.
Fondu 04.jpg

Now the creative fun starts.
Fold and bend it into a simulation of a rock looking pot. Have the wire on the inside and double over the edges so no wire shows when viewed from the outside. This is where all that material gets used.
I tried to make it as irregular as posible with holes and lips for planting complimentry hanging plants and moss patches, make sure it sits down flat or bend into the base three points or bumps for feet.
This might take a while untill you are happy, you may even start again with another idea. This is the beauty of this project, you can change your mind of the shape by viewing from differant directions.
Fondu 05.jpg
Fondu 08.jpg

Now comes the messy part. This is an outdoor activity.
The Cement Fondue is mixed by adding water. Don't mix it all because you will need to coat your pot upto 3 times to get the thickness required to stiffen it all up.
You will need the consistancy of thick paint and to give it a better texture I used some coarse sand or you may use fine gravel.
Use your mix fairly quickly and apply with an old brush to get in on inside and out. Cover all the cloth with the mix then drape it with wet newspaper and push inside as well. This is to slow down the drying of it after you put it in a shady spot. Wash your hands and brush in water.
Fondu 07.jpg

Another coat every 2 days untill your happy with the thickness, don't forget that you will have to pick it up when it has a tree in it and is full of bonsai mix.
I have found that it hardens and weathers to a natrual rock colour but by all means you may wish to try painting it to attcheive differant rock colours.
Our club had a great workshop here in my backyard making these after I gave a demo on club night.
The photo's are of my first attempt.
Rockpotmarch.jpg

I will forward photo's of my second attempt with 13 trees in it at the next installment.
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Re: DIY Fondue Pot

Postby kitoi » April 27th, 2009, 2:09 pm

That's great!! How much does the pot weigh once it's complete?
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Re: DIY Fondue Pot

Postby alanpeck » April 27th, 2009, 2:29 pm

Amazingly light. If my grey matter recalls it was less than a kilo.
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Re: DIY Fondue Pot

Postby Pat K » April 27th, 2009, 7:24 pm

Alan, that's a great natural look. I'd like to enlarge the photos to see the details but my pc would go into seizure if I tried....Is there anyone who can show you how to reduce the pixcels to a more manageable level?

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Re: DIY Fondue Pot

Postby alanpeck » April 27th, 2009, 8:52 pm

Yeh, sorry about that, I shall send my next installment with smaller photo's to ease viewing. It was my very first posting.
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Re: DIY Fondue Pot

Postby BonsaiBoy » April 27th, 2009, 9:29 pm

Sweet pot Alan. Did you come up with this idea yourself?
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Re: DIY Fondue Pot

Postby Jan » May 10th, 2009, 4:17 pm

I like this, it certainly has possibilities!
With some of my local sand to add texture and some cement colouring powders to loose the concrete grey colour I can see the potential here.

Thanks,

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Re: DIY Fondue Pot

Postby Macros » June 9th, 2009, 9:46 pm

Hey Alan,
Have you made your new fondue pot yet??? I'm quivering in anticipation :D :D :D


Thanks,
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Re: DIY Fondue Pot

Postby MelaQuin » July 11th, 2009, 10:24 pm

What sort of cost are you talking about with the cloth/wire/fondue???
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Re: DIY Fondue Pot

Postby Lynette » July 13th, 2009, 11:39 am

I was asked a question about cement fondue at the school seminar. It is reasonably expensive, I bought some a few years back, still haven't used it. If I remember correctly it was about $16:oo per Kilo. I bought it from NSW pottery Supplies in Homebush. You could ring them and ask. The other materials can be sourced from Bunnings. I can't remember the cost of the other materials, but I just bought some chicken wire for another project and it cost $17:00 for a small roll, it would probably be much cheaper in Sdydney.
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Re: DIY Fondue Pot

Postby Gary Bee » August 3rd, 2009, 1:55 pm

G/Day! Alan,

Excellent! explanation, and a great result.
Lynette, alas! twas I who asked you about this Ciment Fondue and I am about to purchase same on your good advice. ;)

Alan, you could go on the demonstration circuit with your tecnique.

Sometimes a tree needs a freeform pot compilation only the owner can envisage.
The question is whether one can turn the thought into reality. :lol:

Thanks for the info, I'm about to try it with my Grandson, so we are going to have a great mud pie day! I reckon. 8-)

Regards
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Re: DIY Fondue Pot

Postby Gary Bee » August 5th, 2009, 2:56 pm

Alan and Lynetteand team,

I've just got back from:-

NSW Pottery Supplies
Unit 41,
159 Arthur Street
Homebush West
PH (02)8756 5900

The bad news is Unfortunately they have discontinued "Ciment Fondu" :cry:
However the good news is they have a replacement which they claim will do the same thing called "Pyrocrete" :P
Cost is $6.20 per Kilo.

My young mate (Tyler) and I are about to build our first "Planting Rock", one each, so I'll let you know how it turns out.
Maybe capable of a progression photo display by the time it is finished. :lol: :lol:

Do you know about the Pyrocrete?
Can you tell me if it will work as well as Ciment Fondu?

Your copmments will be welcomed.
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Re: DIY Fondue Pot

Postby Alan Peck » March 27th, 2010, 7:52 am

Gary,

Thought I'd better tell everyone about the Pyrocrete. I am in the process of trying it out on a slab I have just fomed. Not much success at the moment. Does not seem to dry hard and can be brushed back off as it turns back to powder. I have rang the pottery supplies warehouse in Qld and they advise me to mix with sand. 1 Pyro 3 sand. Not having mush success with that either and results are patchy, some areas ok some powdery. Am still experimenting and I am awaiting a reply from company in usa for advise. Maybe its just too old.? Strange, does not want to 'set' up and I'd rather use the Fondue but cannot get it.
If anyone on the forum has had success please post your experiences.
Have posted results of my big mountain pot which is my second attempt with Fondue.
DSC05372.JPG
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Re: DIY Fondue Pot

Postby Mitchell » March 27th, 2010, 12:59 pm

Does this fondue have lime in it? If so how do you stop it leeching into the soil?

Cement is the base material in the fondue?

Sorry for the questions but, may I ask, what reasons do you have for not using clay as the medium? Please note, I have been making pots from cement, so I am not being malicious, just would like to know your reasons.
Last edited by Mitchell on March 27th, 2010, 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Regards, Mitchell.



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Re: DIY Fondue Pot

Postby kcpoole » March 27th, 2010, 1:20 pm

Info on Cement fondue
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_cement_fondue

Also curiouls about leeching

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