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A few people have asked about the products that were used for this project…
The first layer (troweled over the metal lathe to about 1/4″ thickness) can be a high-polymer thinset mortar that is normally used for setting porcelain tiles. For added flexibility and stickiness, polymer admix can be used instead of water when preparing the mix. The second layer can be a polymer enriched sanded grout, again prepared with polymer admix instead of water. And the third and final layer(s) can be unsanded grout without the polymer addition (the top layers want to not be so sticky). The sanding steps don’t really have to be intensive if your trowel work produces the flatness that you desire.
For this project I made my own mixes using raw cement, lime, and fancier cementitious materials just because I wanted to learn and experiment. But over-the-counter materials as mentioned in the above paragraph are essencially the same. To finish I used a few coats of a food-safe solvent based tile sealer, the kind used for non glazed porcelain and terracotta tiles, followed by a cocktail mixture of tung oil, natural solvent, beeswax, and carnuba wax to seal the surface.
It has been a year and a half since the project was completed, and I WOULD do this again. You should know however that the surface DOES “stain.” Over time and use it develops a patina. Common use areas morph into different shades and colors depending on what was above those areas and for how long. This may be a deal-breaker for some people, however this is exactly the look I was trying to achieve. Over time the varying shades blend into use-shapes as you would expect for example from leather or copper goods. It should also be mentioned that doing a concrete counter this way as opposed to the pour-in method or making a mold, saved many hundreds of extra pounds of dead weight sitting on the cabinets and weighing down on the foundation.
Lastly – to get experience with the process I experimented with a couple af ad hoc counters to be used as gardening tables (seen in the very early parts of the video). This ended up to be very important since from the start I realized I was going to make a big mess.
Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx (October 2, 1890 — August 19, 1977) was an American comedian and film and television star. He is known as a master of quick wit and widely considered one of the best comedians of the modern era. His rapid-fire, often impromptu delivery of innuendo-laden patter earned him many admirers and imitators. He made 13 feature films with his siblings the Marx Brothers, of whom he was the third-born. He also had a successful solo career, most notably as the host of the radio and television game show You Bet Your Life. His distinctive appearance, carried over from his days in vaudeville, included quirks such as an exaggerated stooped posture, glasses, cigar, and a thick greasepaint mustache and eyebrows. These exaggerated features resulted in the creation of one of the world’s most ubiquitous and recognizable novelty disguises, known as “Groucho glasses”, a one-piece mask consisting of horn-rimmed glasses, large plastic nose, bushy eyebrows and mustache.
Groucho Marx was, and is, the most recognizable and well-known of the Marx Brothers. Groucho-like characters and references have appeared in popular culture both during and after his life, some aimed at audiences who may never have seen a Marx Brothers movie. Groucho’s trademark eye glasses, nose, mustache, and cigar have become icons of comedy—glasses with fake noses and mustaches (referred to as “Groucho glasses”, “nose-glasses,” and other names) are sold by novelty and costume shops around the world.
Nat Perrin, close friend of Groucho Marx and writer of several Marx Brothers films, inspired John Astin’s portrayal of Gomez Addams on the 1960s TV series The Addams Family with similarly thick mustache, eyebrows, sardonic remarks, backward logic, and ever-present cigar (pulled from his breast pocket already lit).
Alan Alda often vamped in the manner of Groucho on M*A*S*H. In one episode, “Yankee Doodle Doctor”, Hawkeye and Trapper put on a Marx Brothers act at the 4077, with Hawkeye playing Groucho and Trapper playing Harpo. In three other episodes, a character appeared who was named Captain Calvin Spalding (played by Loudon Wainwright III). Groucho’s character in Animal Crackers was Captain Geoffrey T. Spaulding.
On many occasions, on the 1970s television sitcom All In The Family, Michael Stivic (Rob Reiner), would briefly imitate Groucho Marx and his mannerisms.
Two albums by British rock band Queen, A Night at the Opera (1975) and A Day at the Races (1976), are named after Marx Brothers films. In March 1977, Groucho invited Queen to visit him in his Los Angeles home; there they performed “’39″ a capella. A long-running ad campaign for Vlasic Pickles features an animated stork that imitates Groucho’s mannerisms and voice. On the famous Hollywood Sign in California, one of the “O”s is dedicated to Groucho. Alice Cooper contributed over $27,000 to remodel the sign, in memory of his friend.
In 1982, Gabe Kaplan portrayed Marx in the film Groucho, in a one-man stage production. He also imitated Marx occasionally on his previous TV sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter.
Actor Frank Ferrante has performed as Groucho Marx on stage for more than two decades. He continues to tour under rights granted by the Marx family in a one-man show entitled An Evening With Groucho in theaters throughout the United States and Canada with piano accompanist Jim Furmston. In the late 1980s Ferrante starred as Groucho in the off-Broadway and London show Groucho: A Life in Revue penned by Groucho’s son Arthur. Ferrante portrayed the comedian from age 15 to 85. The show was later filmed for PBS in 2001. Woody Allen’s 1996 musical Everyone Says I Love You, in addition to being named for one of Groucho’s signature songs, ends with a Groucho-themed New Year’s Eve party in Paris, which some of the stars, including Allen and Goldie Hawn, attend in full Groucho costume. The highlight of the scene is an ensemble song-and-dance performance of “Hooray for Captain Spaulding”—done entirely in French.
In the last of the Tintin comics, Tintin and the Picaros, a balloon shaped like the face of Groucho could be seen in the Annual Carnival.
In the Italian horror comic Dylan Dog, the protagonist’s sidekick is a Groucho impersonator whose character became his permanent personality.
The BBC remade the radio sitcom Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel, with contemporary actors playing the parts of the original cast. The series was repeated on digital radio station BBC7. Scottish playwright Louise Oliver wrote a play named Waiting For Groucho about Chico and Harpo waiting for Groucho to turn up for the filming of their last project together. This was performed by Glasgow theatre company Rhymes with Purple Productions at the Edinburgh Fringe and in Glasgow and Hamilton in 2007-08. Groucho was played by Scottish actor Frodo McDaniel.