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Sculptor uses Sakrete to bring life to new design

At World of Concrete 2012 in Las Vegas, renowned American sculptor David Seils created a relief sculpture using Sakrete bagged mortar mix and a mason’s hawk and trowel. The landscape design featured the arresting bristlecone pine tree—the world’s oldest tree, reaching 5,000 years of age—which is a threatened species native to desert mountains in the southwestern United States.

Attendees were able to see the relief piece come to life from start to completion at daily in-booth demos on the stage. Seils prepared three stages of the artwork: stage one, base set up; stage two, half-complete; and stage three, a completed piece for display in the Sakrete booth. Attendees were able to enter a drawing to win the 3-D, 3- x 5-ft. finished piece.

“I prefer concrete-based materials, and for decades have used only Sakrete bagged Type S mortar mix for my exterior and interior wall designs,” states Seils. “I can apply Sakrete in a relatively short period of time because it mixes and flows easily and sets up within hours. It’s very durable setting up as hard concrete. Sakrete in my designs adds beauty and strength to existing walls.

“Exterior wall designs that I sculpt using Sakrete are durable to wind, rain, heat and cold. Think of it this way: Roman art stands to this day with little change. It is essentially stucco cement that has been exposed to the elements for 2,000 years and is still impressive,” notes Seils.

Johnsie Beck, president of Sakrete of North America, commends Seils' work. “David Seils’ talent is amazing. At World of Concrete, [he showcased] our Sakrete Type S Mortar Mix and Concrete Bonder & Fortifier in a very compelling, unique way while presenting breathtaking Nevada topography via the bristlecone pine tree,” stated Beck.

The sculptor has successfully revived the art style of creating relief sculptures that has been used for thousands of years to decorate walls and the exterior of buildings. First, he makes a sketch in charcoal since it disappears easily. Once a drawing is finalized, Seils uses scale and develops a grid of squares for a more precise design, and then transfers the grid to the wall. Lastly, he sculpts the design. Seils personally handles the entire construction and installation.

His commissioned work can be found around the country in universities, cultural centers, homes and businesses ranging from hotels to automotive service settings. David Seils’ studio is located in Asheville, N.C. — Sakrete,