Good/Evil, Day/Night, Color/No Color

May/June 2010 Vol. 10 No. 4

It’s 7:00 am. I’m at 6,000 feet in high desert mountains. There was a light snow yesterday afternoon, followed by heavy winds and rain, and then a harsh freeze.

Bubbles, Balloons and Broken Glass: Concrete Ideas from Outside the Box

April 2010 Vol. 10 No. 3

Scenario A: Dropped balloons of pigmented overlay burst on a concrete slab for a market.

Scenario B: Vertical concrete is cast against a broken tempered glass “form-liner.”

Scenario C: Blown bubbles of dyed soapy water drift and land on a bedroom floor.

Far Far Away

February/March 2010 Vol. 10 No. 2

Here it is – a bright and shiny new year! And just like at the start of every other new year, I spent some time developing resolutions and reflecting on previous years and what I’m thankful for. Of course, there are resolutions that look quite familiar, like “Try to slow down and be a bit more thoughtful” and “Don’t gossip” and “Just don’t be so nasty!”

Entering the Strata-Sphere

January 2010 Vol. 10 No. 1

Clearly, designing and placing concrete is a process. However, for me, it’s best when not overly processed. I’m not particularly fond of Wonder Bread or Cheez Whiz. I much prefer homemade bread or artisan bread like a pugliese, or a really ripe and nasty brie, exuding ammonia and looking not just interesting, but also perhaps a bit dangerous. I like my concrete the same way I like my breads and cheeses, with every bit of the material exuding something interesting and reflecting the character of the ambient conditions and personalities that shaped it. And I’m not the only one who feels like this.

Residential Concrete Reminiscences

November/December 2009 Vol. 9 No. 7

I remember seeing the coolest home I’d ever seen, on the cover of a Sunset magazine. It was a tiny, 600-square-foot, colorful constructivist number set against the huge raw mountains of a river valley. And it was chosen Sunset’s “Home of The Year.” I remember it was in Yakima, Wash., (a place I had not yet been) and I remember it was designed by architects Miller-Hull (a name I was not yet familiar with).

Underappreciated Structural Slabs Can Be Recycled

September/October 2009 Vol. 9 No. 6

In concrete construction, as in society today in general, being green is hip. And part of being green includes recycling. Recycling materials: Collapsed L.A. freeways are demolished, stripped of reinforcing steel, and crushed, to rise again as an aggregate component in their replacements. Post-consumer tumbled bottle glass is seeded, then washed to be exposed in a city sidewalk. Post-industrial defective mirrors are crushed and sized, cast integrally, ground and repolished in high-end concrete countertops.

Designing Concrete That Is Maintenance Free

June/July 2009 Vol. 9 No. 4

When Concrete Decor magazine suggested “maintenance” as a subject, I jumped at it! After all, this is something that torments most decorative concrete contractors, unless, that is, there is a significant main­tenance profit center to their busi­ness. In the case of The Concretist, there is not. We have always been more focused on creating than maintaining, although we certainly have an interest in our projects looking as spiffy as possible.

This Stamp is No Cookie Cutter New-school Methods of Concrete Embossing

May 2009 Vol. 9 No. 3

I’ve always appreciated the craft of concrete stamping and the work ethic and skill of a really good stamper. However, I’ve never quite understood why anyone would choose decorative concrete trying to look like used brick, or trying to look like ashlar slate or tumbled marble, when you could choose brick, slate or marble. Isn’t it better to be as honest and genuine as possible, in every way?

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