I love concrete – it’s so permanent- so THERE when its dry. When you work with it, you have to sort of turn your brain inside out, for it’s the inside of the form you’re building that defines the outcome. This inside-out form needs to be braced and supported because wet concrete is heavy and creates a massive amount of pressure. I love the excitement on the day we pour- anything can go wrong and panicking at this point is definitely not an option.
Its actually a lot like cooking a fantastic meal that takes all day to prepare and gets eaten in 30 minutes. For it takes days to build a good form , place the re-bar and brace it all off. Then, like the guests arriving, you hear the rumble of the concrete truck and you know that within less than an hour you’ll either have a wonderful success or a complete failure. If you’ve braced everything right and you’ve got the forms true and square, it’ll all be fine. But if you’ve missed something, there’s little you can do about it now. You might have time to install a last minute brace or true up a corner, but usually if something’s wrong it’s not apparent till after the festivities.
Mostly (thankfully) it all works out and when you peel the forms off, you see the beauty of the concrete. If you’re a bit of an artist, you’ve selected wood with nice grain that’s reflected in the cement, or perhaps used narrow boards and created a pleasing look that way. Regardless, if you’ve done it right- whether it be a foundation, retaining wall or a sculpture, you’ve created a monument that short of an act of god, only powerful equipment can destroy.