Rock Talk. . . .by Matt Wilson

Introduction

So you want to be rock star?

The following articles will help you to understand some of the complexities involving artificial rockwork as well as some of my keen observations about sales, marketing, design, and life. Hopefully you will have a better understanding of this intriguing design medium with the insight of this series of articles. I might even convince you that there is an easier, better way of conducting aspects to your business that might help you considerably. So whether you are skeptical about reading an article on artificial rockwork or not you might just hang on for future insertions and just possibly glean a little knowledge from a very unlikely source.

Whether you are an architect, designer, contractor, artist, or homeowner this information should give you the necessary confidence for you to design or fabricate your own incredible artistic sculptures. At the very least it should make you comfortable to specify these attention grabbing features and have the confidence to know they can be installed to your specifications.

Rockwork can be very physically demanding at times, but the artistic reward at competition of a project will make it all worthwhile.


Next article

History of artificial rock
History of glass fiber reinforced concrete

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“Give up for a second and that is where you will finish”

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Matt,
Great article idea, looking forward to following the series.
There is an idea I have been batting around that I would like to get your opinion on- from a technical/feasibility angle.
In the part of North Carolina where I live the most common material used for rip-rap is white speckled granite. It has become a visual plague on our landscape and seems to be used nearly everywhere. Its bright color always contrasts badly with the surrounding landscape no matter what the context. Because of economics there really is no other cost effective material to use (except maybe used concrete, which would be worse).
Do you think it would be possible/feasible to "paint" the existing rip rap with a colored concrete/gunite slurry? And if so, do you think this could be an cost effective fix to "naturalize" the existing granite. I have never worked with this medium so I was hoping you could share some of your perspective. I am thinking earth tone browns, greys and lichen greens, not much detail so long as the stuff looks good from 10-20 feet away it would be worth it.

What do you think?
thanks
Absolutely, we do it all the time out her on the West coast. It is so easy I am embarrassed sometimes to tell people that a very wealth homeowner paid me $20K to color all of the chipped boulders at his new estate. It took me and a helper 2 days with two tank sprayers. The secret concoction that my homeowner never saw the container of was
Scofield acid stain "BLACK) http://www.scofield.com/concretestain_colorchart.html

1 or 2 applications is all it takes. The black when applied to granite in one coat looks dirty brown which is exactly the color you are looking for. Don't forget to use polypropylene tank sprayers or the acid will eat trough the steel type. Also price your coloring based on the alternative of removing the real rock. That is, don’t give it away based on the actual time and cost. Perception is reality - Good luck : ) Matt
Wow! Thanks for the recipe- who would have thunk? And thank for the tip below.
another option is go to this site www.natinaproducts.com it easy to simulate desrt varnish especially if you are dealing with natural rock. The problem with acid stains is neutralization, it will continue to corrode, it is acid.I realize this was done in 2008. They make a superior product to acid stain. Acid stains are good when used correctly and on bare concrete unsealed surfaces, you can even use acrylics on top of them to get many excellent effects. I hope this helps even though it is late!

Respectfully

Richard L. Winget
Tim, you might enjoy perusing the forum under 'professional practice' titled Sales & Marketing. You might get some new ideas.
We often incorporate artificial rock into our projects throughout the world. We are moving away from using large amounts of it due to cost etc. We are doing more modern contemporay designs but I am sure we will always have some rock or artificial rock into our designs. You can view some of our projects utilizing artificial rock and real stone in my photo albums.

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