Artificial rock work as a design medium (4 of 10)

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums DETAILS & MATERIALS Artificial rock work as a design medium (4 of 10)

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • Author
  • #175976
    Matthew E Wilson

    Reasons for hand carved rock

    There are several basic reasons behind utilizing the hand carved method of fabrication. Some of the examples are; availability of construction materials, skill level, ability to improve an undesirable appearance, and independence just to name a few.

    Availability of construction materials is one of the primary draws to hand carved rockwork. Most of the construction materials can be obtained from any local hardware store. Many times even left over items found around your property can be utilized to create an incredible reincarnation, into something more aesthetically pleasing. For example an old metal wheelbarrow turned upside down could begin the construction process of a large boulder once it was framed out in additional rebar to create a desirable shape. The same thing would apply to an old concrete patio broken up into manageable pieces that would normally be off hauled to the land fill. Now with some careful stacking and a rebar framework you have the beginning of a beautiful rock outcropping. Virtually any item that is not biodegradable can be utilized inside your potential rock structure.

    Skill level is another pleasing feature most people like about the hand carved method of fabrication. Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder your critics are limited to those family members that witness your art. Almost anyone with the physical ability to bend rebar and mix concrete can create beautiful landscape boulders in a size and shape unachievable due to budgetary constraints or accessibility before. If you doubt your ability to create a desirable shape to your rock outcropping then why not copy the real thing? A photograph from your favorite vacation spot will do just fine. You might even have an actual boulder on site that you wish could be made larger or duplicated? Now it can be by fastening a rebar framework around it and adding concrete to cover it up. Remember an exact copy is not natural in your landscape setting. Don’t try for perfection in the rebar framework as this will only frustrate you. You can easily manipulate the shape later with the subsequent concrete and or plaster layers.

    You will always have the ability to improve and undesirable appearance by simply retexturing over the top of your project or by adding gfrc castings directly on top of your concrete shape. So you see that your initial attempts to learn this skill can be corrected at any time by simply adding more material to your original shape. If your coloring is not to your liking simply recolor it at any point during that phase of your project. Remember you will be your own worst critic and this is supposed to be fun so go easy on yourself in the beginning. If you are planning on taking this type of work as a profession than you can be as critical as you like otherwise go slow. Practice makes perfect so practice with simple clay shapes around your dinning room table to establish your basic design.

    From the hobbyist perspective there is a great feeling of freedom and independence from not having to hire a contractor. Other than a few basic construction materials you are not dependant on anyone for this type of work. You can start or stop ay any time during the construction process without any repercussions. Your present skill level is enough to create a satisfactory project. Obviously you might want to improve on your skills but that will come with practice. Maybe you have a friend or family member that has some sculpting abilities or is talented at coloring? Why not get them involved and make a work party out of the process?

    Next article

    Reasons for cast rock


    “Only those who can see the invisible can do the impossible!”

    Matthew E Wilson

    To my knowledge there are no books presently published on this topic except for the booklet I wrote and sell to contractors. The cost is 55US$ if you are interested.

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Lost Password