Turtle Construction – a Legendary Escapes Signature Element

Legendary Escapes Turtle Turtle Construction

{By Karen, Concrete Artist} The first pool of the season for Legendary Escapes is almost done.  Roughly four weeks into the pool project, the coping is on, the hard bottom is in, tile is set around the pool and on a raised wall forming the back wall of the sun shelf, and pillars that bracket the wall on each end of the sun shelf are stoned and capped.  All that is left is to drop the liner in the pool’s main section, color and stamp the concrete pool deck, and the job not every pool has…a carved turtle to jump off.

Carving a large turtle over the deepest part of the pool is a job I enjoy for the creativity it allows me to express, and fear because if I screw the design up, it’s not so easy to fix what is carved in concrete.  For about a week, now, there have been pieces of 3/8 inch rebar sticking straight up out of a concrete footing.  Today, I strained and grimaced, probably swore a couple times, bending and tying the steel rods into an armature that looks nothing like a turtle, but will give the final sculpture strength and immovability.  Legendary Escapes Turtle

Once I had the steel tied, and the one inch flex pipe situated just right (did I mention the turtle will also work as a fountain, spitting water from its mouth), I roughly shaped the turtle by covering the steel and plumbing in a structure coat of cement.  A structure coat is basically a  mix where the ratio of sand to cement is greater.   A handful of white, hair-like strands of fiber is also mixed in to give the cement added strength.  With a great imagination one can see the four legs and head started.  The body is basically cement piled in the armature’s middle section with a square cut of lathe, that will eventually form the turtle’s shell, cemented in that pile.

Calling it a day to allow the structure coat to harden, I covered today’s accomplishment, so as not to scare the homeowner.  I’ve lost count over how many turtles I’ve carved, but a few times, after the final sculpt was done, homeowners have told me they worried just a little bit, when they saw me leave a structure coated turtle.  Tomorrow, if everything goes well, and inspiration hits, I’ll be back to let you know, and show you pictures, of how the final carve went.