Calabasa Shower Floor

After over a year living in my house, I finally decided to pour a cement layer on my shower floor. Although my bathroom has had various makeovers (termite-ridden wood hut to bamboo fortress to suspended plastic), I was still excited to give it one more. Drawing from ceramic inspirations, I decided to upcycle fragments of Calabasa shell to create a design on the floor. As you may have noticed, my go-to design is a flowy sun. I recommend utilizing the flattest pieces of shell you can find. If the piece has too much of an arc, it can break under the pressure of your foot or not stick properly with the concrete.
After pouring one layer of concrete on the compacted earth, I carefully arranged the shells to form a sun. I pressed each piece deep into the concrete, so that its concave underbelly would fill with concrete. When working with concrete, it’s very important to consistently spray it with water and cover with a plastic bag. Once the first layer dried (2-3 hrs), I poured a second layer on the floor and tried to “hug” the shells with this mixture. Using a paint brush, I slowly glided the cement over the shells to insure they were compacted into the floor. As cement leaves a dusty looking layer, I quickly wet the shells with water afterwards to remove any debris. Again, spray with water and cover it. Ideally, leave the floor to fully dry for about a week, all the while continuing to wet it and cover it. Then, enjoy your new inspiring shower floor!
This activity was great with the kids and sparked an interest in upcycling. They all commented on the floor’s beauty and asked how they could make one. The common practice here, and practically everywhere in the world, is to throw away the items you cannot utilize or deem as valuable. Instead of creating more trash, try to think of ways to recycle or upcycle material culture items. Indeed, Calabasa shells would eventually breakdown as they are natural products. But if you can find a value for them- artisan products, masks, bowls, cups, shower floor designs-it’s even better! Happy upcycling!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s