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A Model Makes Models…

Concrete Creations 66


Words by Richard Kratz

Photos by Debbie Bradshaw and Richard Kratz

Fashion model Debbie Bradshaw, a car loving woman who makes models of cars in concrete.


Several members on the staff of this magazine are members of the Television Motion Picture Car Club. Editor-Publisher Richard Kratz was a card carrying SAG member as a child actor; Contributing Writer Jennifer Caputo-Armstrong is a current SAG and AFTRA member as a working stunt woman and coordinator, as is our new Safety Tech Editor, Andy Armstrong.


The TMPCC is a great club which is open to people who work(ed) in the television and motion picture car industry and love cars. We’ve made many new friends in the club and one of them is Debbie Bradshaw. Debbie’s day job is a pharmacist for oncology patients, mixing up the lifesaving brews for their chemo treatments. Debbie lives in a smaller town on the outskirts of the greater San Francisco Bay area. John D’Agostino’s famous Celebrity Kustoms shop is located in the same town. John and Debbie knew each other and one day John told Debbie she’d make a great pinup/car model. Debbie was modest and we don’t think she believed John. But John also knew legendary car customizer George Barris and George told Debbie he agreed with John, you’d be fantastic for that.


So Debbie took the plunge and got photos taken. She started working as a pinup model and then segued into more of a fashion model. She says in the six years she’s been doing the modeling work she’s had a lot of fun and adventures. Three years ago she was picked to go to London in the UK to represent the United States in the International Americana Pinup contest. She won second place in the contest. USA! USA! USA! Debbie has worked as a model at the annual SEMA show twice as well. Cars and beautiful women always have gone great together and always will.


Through John, Debbie met Ken Latka, the President of the TMPCC. And now you know how we’re all six degrees away from Kevin Bacon.


One day Debbie found a large concrete model of a Studebaker truck that she fell in love with and purchased to put in her front yard. She showed George Barris a photo of the truck and told him that she wanted to start making creations like this one. He told her, “If you’re going to do a car, you have to do a ’57 Chevy.” (Yeah, we know this is a Mopar magazine; just hold your horses and let us show you where this story goes.)


So Debbie created a concrete 1957 Chevy. She then went to Barris and said, OK, I made that, what should I do next? Without hesitating he told her, a ’49 Ford Coupe. (Yes, just hang on and we’ll get to the Mopar part, OK? Sheesh.)


Debbie created a whole side business making concrete things and she named the business Concrete Creations 66 (as in Route 66). She does make concrete models of things other than cars, but pretty much they’re all intended to add focal points and beauty to your garden and yard. We like to say that Debbie makes Car Gnomes for the gardens.


When we contacted Debbie to find out if she had any Mopar car gnomes we could buy, she said she didn’t but if we were interested she’d make one. We asked for a late model HEMI, something fun. Debbie tackled the project with gusto. Follow along and see how Debbie created a late model HEMI Charger car gnome. We got serial number 001, and Debbie will be happy to sell you one too.

The process starts with a positive model of the piece Debbie wants to create. She has to start with a positive model then make a negative mold from which she can produce positive production models. She then coats the model with layers of latex. This is all done by hand with a very fine brush to work the latex into all of the nooks and crannies of the model. She applies about seven coats of latex waiting for each coat to dry before the next one.

Next is another seven layers of latex, this time with a thickening agent consisting of recycled tires/rubber ground up to a very fine powder. Mixed with the liquid latex it makes a good thickening agent between the first seven coats and the last seven coats of plain latex. Note that when we say “seven” coats, this number varies depending on what Debbie is making. Larger pieces require more coats. The process of latex layers, thickening layers and final latex layers takes about a week including drying time.

Because latex and rubber are flexible, Debbie needs to provide rigidity and stiffness to the mold. She does this with a hard shell for the outside of the mold. Depending on the size of the piece, this may be plaster of Paris (as in our Charger mold) or fiberglass for larger models. When the hard shell is dried, Debbie removes the original positive model, turns the mold over, mixes up her own proprietary recipe of concrete and pours it into the mold. It takes several days for the concrete to cure. The finished molds are very durable and allow Debbie to produce hundreds of creations from each mold.

Finally, the cured concrete model sees the light of day. All of the work put into those layers of latex and ground rubber pays off at the end. The flex and give they provide allows Debbie to remove the model without breaking either it or the mold. Debbie still has a lot of finishing work left to clean up the flash and other issues from the molding process. Dremel tool in hand Debbie cleans up the model.

Once the concrete creation is cleaned up, Debbie applies a black base coat paint to seal the porous concrete. Then she applies the color coats. For car models, she likes to use metallic colors. She finally seals the creation with clear coat.

We just love the latest addition to our garden. Our Concrete Creations 66 late model Dodge Charger garden decoration makes us smile every time we walk into our backyard.

And speaking of smiles, Debbie has a stunning one. We wish her continued success in her modeling (and concrete modeling) career.

Debbie makes other concrete creations besides cars. When she found out that Editor-Publisher Richard Kratz’s August birthday makes him a Leo, she included this marvelous sleeping lion from her line in the shipment. Richard likes looking at Leo sleeping in the shade of a big beech tree in his yard.



Debbie Bradshaw

Concrete Creations 66

Website: www.etsy.com/shop/ConcreteCreations66

Email: concretecreations66@gmail.com



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