One of the best things about this blog is the different makers and creatives that we get to meet, and there’s nothing better than going undercover with another crafter to learn the tricks of their trade. I’m nosy like that.
So when my friends love at Etsy invited me to visit the workshop of Shabibi Sheep I jumped at the chance. This amazing workshop has pioneered the use of concrete in homewares and jewellery in Hong Kong, which traditionally cement has been seen as a gritty materials not fit for elegant homewares. Not so. The workshop transforms it into clocks, trays and gorgeous jewellery (all of which you can get on their Etsy store). One thing that particularly has managed to turn the traditional idea of cement on its head is an amazing concrete marbling technique they use – one I’ve never seen before and was itching to learn how to create myself. The lovely team behind the workshop welcomed us with open arms, and didn’t mind giving up their trade secrets about how to create a marble look out of concrete. And now I’m sharing it with you! Don’t you think these would make a lovely gift for Christmas?
DIY Marbled Tray
Marbling with Cement
To do this project you need essentially need two colours of cement – here we have used pure white cement and cement that has dark sand added. The other way to achieve the dark portion is to use cement colour pigments – mix some black or grey into normal cement and voila! To create the classic marble look of white on grey these were the colours we used, but you could also do this with other colours too! When it comes to a mould, you can see here the team at Shabibi Sheep have professional silicone moulds, but they showed us that you can just as easily use a simple square piece of packaging as a mould.
Make two separate batches of cement, one light and one dark. You will only need a very small must of dark cement to create the classic marbling.
Starting small, put a dollop of white cement down first. Then, add some small drops of dark cement. Using a toothpick, start spreading out the dark cement in lines, pushing the patterns towards the base of the mould.
Lift up the mould and start swirling it around, so that you get that subtle marbling effect. Try to be smooth in your movements so that it doesn't just mix together.
Add another dollop of white, a few drops of dark and then repeat the process, until your mould is full.
Allow to set for 24 hours, and then remove from the mould. To get that sheen that marble has upon should use a fine sandpaper to remove any bumps.