The Art of Faux Bois

Faux Bois Translates to “False Wood” or “Fake Wood”

Faux Bois Is The Art Of Molding And Sculpting
Natural Looking Wood Textures In Concrete To Produce Functional Art Items

This is an almost forgotten art form. I can assure you very few hypertufa or concrete crafters even know what faux bois means, let alone that it is an art form unto itself. Simply explained, faux bois objects are produced from concrete that is shaped, or poured into a metal lath, then molded and stained naturally with mineral salt and/or dyes.

To be honest, I’ve not personally experimented in making a faux bois object d’arte. However, I can guide you to a few resources that will certainly head you in the right direction to pursue more on the subject.

Faux Bois Stool

Most of us who love to work in ‘tufa or concrete are intimidated when it comes to producing more “realistic” type objects. This doesn’t need to be the case. If you think about it, attempting to produce a deep wood texture isn’t necessarily a terribly difficult thing to fashion.

Yes, we may not ever achieve the level of expertise as the master practitioner and artist, Carlos Cortés. But, if you are already experimenting with concrete to produce garden art objects, then why not attempt making something small for your first endeavor? Maybe something similar to this striking little garden stool, for example?

Your sculpting tools needn’t be fancy. An old wood rasp (to rough up the surface) and an old butter knife (for carving the wood grain) can suffice. Once the concrete sets up a bit, you’ll be able to do your carving.

Mr. Cortés on Faux Bois Garden Bench

For a wonderful pictorial of Mr. Cortés’s faux bois objects, I’ll direct you to his website. Please take a moment to click on the various project categories. You’ll see some wonderful items.
Studio Cortés Website

Here’s a photograph of Mr. Cortés with two of his magnificent creations – a faux bois bench and arbor. Aren’t these pieces wonderful!

Oh and by the way, Martha Stewart has a collection of faux bois and she commissioned Mr. Cortés to fabricate a table for her.

You will also find some discussion of faux bois on the GardenWeb forums. Utilize their site search feature to zero in on discussions on this topic: GardenWeb Forums Homepage

I do hope that in the very near future I will be able to link you to even more information pertaining to this art form. My artist friend, Donald Tucker, is determined to help keep the art of “Faux Bois” alive and well. He is currently working on a book and CD on this subject. Also in the works are craft supply and sculpting tool kits. Stay tuned for more info!

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