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Rock Hard Water Putty

We decided to create bas-relief images by building up layers of Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty,®

a material that would adhere to the wood fibers of the backing panels, could be sculpted and carved easily, and could take a wood finish. After experimenting briefly with the material, we developed a process that, depending on the water/powder mixture, has a varied open time and is somewhat like freehand sculpting with plaster. Here is the process we followed:

1. We cut lauan pieces to fit the removable front panels and the eight small panels (four for each side). We also purchased sticks of a small trim that matched the trim around the front panels and pre-cut them to fit each of the eight side panels. After some discussion about the extent of carving on the piano, it was decided to leave the front legs of the piano and the other surfaces as they were so as not to detract from the overall beauty of the instrument.