MY HUSBAND, WALTER Blake, and I started working with cement thirty years ago after I'd seen articles on trough making using Portland cement, pumice, and peat. We made these beautiful wire boxes that I formed into toughs freehand, molding and sculpting the goopy cement mixture and letting it set up. I didn't like the way the styrofoam that everybody was using made it look like an unnatural box. I wanted a natural rocky appearance that emulated a cliffside or boulder. This inspired me to create my own natural-looking bonsai containers too.