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Riana De Raad assists Marilyn Larson of Hudson with her planter. Photo by Margaret Ontl

Back by popular demand, De Raad shares her sculpting magic with students

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People traveled from far and near last weekend for the privilege of attending a concrete sculpture workshop at The Phipps Center for the Arts. Famed folk artist Wouterina "Riana" De Raad returned to teach the two-day event, which found participants wrestling with stainless metal lath to create everything from a life size Airedale terrier to a delicate vase.

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Two mother and daughter teams participated, with Betty Ruggles and her daughter Amanda Dupreez driving up from southern Wisconsin. George Moore, a 3M chemist from Afton, Minn., with a penchant for sculpture and Jeanne Wright, a teacher from Grand Marais, Minn., were just a few of the people eager to learn De Raad's one of a kind techniques.

Saturday, De Raad shared her techniques for creating a metal armature strong enough to hold not only the concrete but possible mosaics applied at a later time.

A hands-on instructor, De Raad jumps in with metal shears and helps the students fashion some of the details from a rooster's head to a curve on a guitar.

The second day, she demonstrated cementing techniques and discussed cement formulas as well as how to pigment the cement. Some of the participants had the chance to apply the first coat of cement to their armatures.

Overall, the two-day workshop produced a wide variety of items from planters to an exotic rooster which someday will become weather resistant lawn art for their enthusiastic creators.

To see more of De Raad's work, go to www.concretemosaicsculpture.com

In March, she will be teaching a mosaic workshop at The Phipps. Some of this weekend's participants may be back to put finishing touches on their creations.

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