I now have something in common with Martha Stewart who is a well-known collector of faux bois. Several years ago she visited Studio Cortes in San Antonio to document the work of one of our more famous concrete artisans. Faux bois means "false wood" in French and it's currently quite trendy in all types of products like dinnerware and ceramic tile. I even saw a pair of wood grain pattern leggings while researching this post.
I'm not so trendy though since I've been enjoying the many concrete faux bois installations around San Antonio for years. This piece has great detail like the knot (on the right) and traces of old vines winding around. The branch on the left is hollow to hold a separate plant.
Along the way someone slapped a coat of paint on it. I will carefully remove the thicker paint and leave the rest as patina and part of the story of the piece. Fine detail is visible under the paint. Look closely to see the paper thin flakes of concrete lichen carved on the surface.
At just over 13 inches high and 14 inches wide, it's a nice size. Mario found it on an old ranch out near Hondo, Texas. Where's Hondo? It's south of Bandera and north of Devine. Oh? Okay, it's on U.S. Hwy. 90 about an hour southwest of San Antonio. Along with being real ranch country they are mostly famous for their welcome sign which was recently restored.
I'll need to find the right plant for it. Here it's posing with the oaks in the front yard where it looks good and it weighs about 75 pounds so we shouldn't have to worry about it disappearing.
Since bringing it home I like it even better than I expected. How often does that happen?