When I last left off the tree armature was still in the welding stage. Once that was complete the crew hand tied the galvanized diamond lath to the structure. They rediscovered what we have long known to be true. The more detailed the armature, the more difficult it is to tie on the wire, and the longer it takes. But all those twisted roots and branches are well worth the effort!
Once the wiring was complete it was time to begin applying the fibreglass-reinforced-concrete and then sculpt in the detail. The tree was large and complex which meant we had to do the job over three days. The first day we sculpted the bare wood (without bark) on the upper branches.
The second day we did the bare wood on the lower areas of the tree. This included some very detailed knots and roots.
On the third day we first applied a bonding agent where the bark would overlap the previous day's sculpted concrete. We then laid on the bark layer of the rest of the tree.
Today Jenessa used sculpting epoxy to form the rope over the structural steel rod which helps hold up the routed Precision Board sign. The sculpted some giant knots into the sculpt to make it believable. There is still a little sculpting to be done on the mechanical bug who is holding up the the other end of the banner but it won't be long until we are into paint. Stay tuned...