Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Experiments with Granny Grating

Having picked some of this stuff up a while ago, I have been wondering about its possible uses. The one everyone talks about is as metal grating for floors. I have used it for that in a little experiment I uploaded recently. However, what I'd like to submit for your consideration today is its potential for use as a template. It is a bit of a hassle to do, but it's quite possible to remove some of the struts and create a pattern to use for all sorts of things. My first thought was brickwork, but it's just as good for flooring.

Recently, I saw a video (on Youtube, I assume, but forget) of some folks using sand, cement and templates to create a false impression of a stone driveway. About the same time I saw someone using a similar technique to create a false brick wall. So I experimented along those lines. I cut myself some test templates, mixed up some filler, and daubed it on some scrap bits of foamcard. Then I carefully secured the templates on the filler, and gently sprinkled sand on them. It fell only in between the plastic bars of the grating, so when I removed the template, I was left with something quite attractive.

However, it was imperfect. Despite trying to secure the sand with a PVA-water coating, it would not stick securely enough to resist even nominal handling. Then earlier on I was thinking of making some more sandbag barricades, and drew out my terracotta Das clay. A lightbulb went on in my head. I used a bit of plastic pipe as a rolling pin, applied the template as before, and bam! I scrunched up some tinfoil to apply a bit of texture to the "bricks", and carefully removed the template. Then I gently pressed away the sharpest raised areas created when the template was removed. I did this over the course of less than a minute, and the "wall" did try to come away. It would probably be fine to leave it to set for a few minutes somewhere warm before removing the template again.

In my test piece I applied quite a thick piece of clay. So in future I shall either roll it thinner or do what I mean to do as part two of my test. I am going to mix up some thin thinner and some paint, and apply it between the "bricks" to duplicate the appearance of mortar. Keep your eyes open for that in a future blog.


  1. Quite an interesting experiment! The brickwork looks very convincing, and you could wash it with white pretty easily to get the mortar look.

    1. Cheers! Aye, that's pretty much what I did. I found out that the bricks were a bit too raised, so I put some filler between the bricks, and it looks perfect for mortar. I'll get some pictures up at the weekend.


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