Friday, April 17, 2009

Creative Kid Play

Have you ever been at a children’s playground where the play structures are highly creative and interactive ?

I’ve been working part time at a professional sculpture studio for the past few weeks that specializes in creating innovative interactive play sculptures for children’s play areas.

The projects come to a studio in a variety of ways.
Sometimes a landscape architect who has designed a large city park has designated an area as a sculptural playground and the sculpture firm , Interplay Design, comes up with the detailed design concept.

Most of the time a scaled sketch is drafted up and a model is made after the basic site plan arrive from the landscape architect.
Then the actual sculpting begins.

A frame constructed of rebar and metal lath is crafted first and then it is covered with a specific concrete mix. Then the details are sculpted in a stucco/ cement like matrix . Occasionally hand sculpted fossils are applied .
After the final stucco color coat is applied then the mosaics are applied.

There are a few more steps after and inbetween but that’s about it in a nut shell.

Below is a recent interactive water play sculpture that Interplay Design Studio recently completed.
It is about 30 feet long and stands about 4.5 feet tall at the tallest point.
It will be set in 1 foot of sand.
As the kids play around the sculpture they will start to dig away the sand and find fossils embedded in the sculpture.
There will also be water cascading down the mosaic rill.

From Interplay Project

From Interplay Project

From Interplay Project

From Interplay Project

Monday, April 13, 2009

Raised veggie beds and Potager Gardens

Vegetable gardens seem to be all the rage this season.
Here are a few photos of some veggie and potager gardens that we’ve designed and built over the years.

A simple raised bed using 2x12’s/
From Alexander Valley

another 2x12
From Alexander Valley

2 foot tall boxes
From Loropetalum chinese

same area
From Potager Gardens

A hand cut stone veggie bed
From Potager Gardens

At grade Potager Garden - surronded by boxwood , rosemary and myrtle hedges
From Potager Gardens

From Raised Garden Beds

From Potager Gardens

From Potager Gardens

Terraced hillside vegetable garden - 4 levels
From Front Yard Potager

From Raised Garden Beds

Monday, April 6, 2009

First Spring.

A new spring garden in Marin blooms.

Last August we installed a new garden in Marin County.
Today I stopped by to check in on it to see how it pulled through the winter and how it was shaping up for the spring show.

We lost a few plants , but over all it weathered its first winter relatively well.

The photo below shows the side garden entry gate.
From Alexander Valley

Once inside the gate you are immediately in the ‘working guts’ of the garden.
A small area enclosed by the entry gate and an open lattice fence houses the tool storage area, the trash can area, and the orphan pot area.
From Alexander Valley

Just outside of this ‘work area’ is another ‘working garden’, .. . the vegetable garden.
We installed several raised boxes for vegetables, a small dwarf citrus fruit tree area , some berry bushes and a small herb and cutting garden.

Beyond the second fence ( in the far background ) is the entry to the back yard garden.
From Alexander Valley

The flowering plum tree was blooming as well as the roses on the Monet arbor.
The Clematis were budded up and ready to bloom.