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Apr 15

Mountmaking Forum ›Need some ideas for a filler material!!


james gielow 9/29/16

Hello all, I have three terracotta hollow horses that need mounts. One is larger than life size. I've come up with a good strategy for securing them outdoors using a stainless rod that is sunk and cemented into the sandy ground and through some flagstone. I wanted to back fill the hollow legs with something to mitigate movement and then cap it all off with a four inch layer of plaster to lock everything together. What I'm looking for is some ideas about products I could use for the filler material. Think of packing peanuts with a longer shelf life and a stouter firmness. Like some 1/2 diameter plastic balls or the like.  The horses will be out doors and on a patio overlooking the Pacific. Which means, heavy winds and very damp conditions. The materials don't have to be archival, but should be able to get damp without breaking down. Any ideas folk?  yours, James Gielow The San Diego Museum of Art






Field, George RBCM:EX 9/29/16

Re: [mountmaking-forum] Re: Need some ideas for a filler material!! Had you looked at hydroponic terra cotta grow medium? They are small high fired terracotta balls.




Jamie Hascall 9/29/16

Hi James, I’m going to ask a couple of questions as I’m trying to connect the CAD drawing to the object. I assume the shapes shown represent the legs of the horse, with a lower part that fits into the upper part. Also, the photo seems to show the head is a separate piece that allows some access into the body? Will the mounts be on all four legs, or mostly the front? Is this for seismic stabilization, or general public stabilization and protection? With those things asked, as I looked at the drawing I thought about the pressure columns that we used at Seattle Art Museum to display large African masks. These were composed of a threaded insert in the deck (T-nut), a length of thick walled PVC pipe, a sturdy cap to sit on top of the pipe, and a piece of stout threaded rod running through the cap all the way to the floor insert with a washer and nut. Once tightened, the assembly was very stiff, in direct proportion to the diameter of the pipe. As long as the insert can’t pull out of the substrate, there’s no need to bury it deeply. Could you use that as a modification of your armature, and then block the top end with ethafoam or other material  to maintain the support higher in the body? My main concern with loose fill is that the possibility of getting microbial action happening with all the moisture it may hold and all that contact surface. Let’s keep the conversation going. Good luck! Jamie Jamie Hascall Craftsman, Trainer, Consultant Mountmakingfocus.com jamie@mountmakingfocus.com Seattle, WA 206-954-4141







Re: [mountmaking-forum] Re: Need some ideas for a filler material!!

Dear James,

If it doesn't need to be archival my first thought is vermiculite. Its an insulation material you can get at hardware stores. Its inexpensive and I believe long lasting as its meant to stay in attics indefinitely. Older brands used to have amounts of asbestos however so if this is a concern you should do some research otherwise it should do exactly what you want.


Vincent Avalos



James gielow


Re: [mountmaking-forum] Re: Need some ideas for a filler material!!

Oh, I know of what you speak of! I'll see how cost effective that is! Thank you.

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