I don't write enough about concrete counters and I asked Richard to put something together for me to start to rectify my lapse. He did. You can learn more about Richard and his company through their website, Concrete Detail. Feel free to ask him any questions in the comments section and I'll forward everything to him. Maybe we'll get him to come back to answer some of them personally. So without further ado, here's Richard.
Concrete started out simply as an alternative to wood, in my mind. Having been in construction as a carpenter for 20 years, I was looking for a means of moving in a different direction: to use some of what I already knew - to go to places I had only dreamed about. Being a carpenter in Vermont (along with half the population) often entails straddling a roof 35 feet off the ground at 20 degrees F (comfy) or chipping a half inch of ice off your framing lumber so you can build a wall (highly productive) or listening to tales of last night’s fight at the bar (heartwarming). Notice a theme here? Suffice it to say, I thought I could do better.
I searched for a trade, craft or product which could build upon the skillset I had developed and allow me a creative outlet which had been neglected since I was much younger. If it was inside a heated, organized shop with other like-minded creative types, it would be almost too good to be true. And so, after much research and soul-searching, the answer (for me) turned out to be what we in the business refer to as “artisan concrete”. What is that, you might ask? And rightly so, because it is still a fledgling industry going through many changes even as it begins to find its place among the more conventional materials. Happily, the media and design professionals in the US are now paying more attention to this upstart and consequently public awareness is reaching a tipping point.
The poster child for artisan concrete is the handcrafted countertop and this is the majority of our work at Concrete Detail, which is the company born of my quest. We create custom tops for kitchens and baths, many of which include sinks as well; we also design and fabricate fireplace and tub surrounds, furniture, wall panels, tiles, bar tops, vessels, and much more. Concrete Detail brings the project full circle, from consultation and design, to fabrication and installation. We enjoy the intimate collaboration with our clients as an integral part of the process of fulfilling a commission – which brings us to the reasons for choosing concrete as a surfacing option.
Concrete countertops are, at least in our interpretation, highly functional aesthetic furnishings – we call it Artformed TM. Not rarefied, subjective collector’s items, but hard-working and deeply satisfying necessities. Every home needs a countertop and everyone wants to make their home their own; the medium of concrete allows personal expression without design constraint, all the while meeting the demands of everyday life with durability, versatility, and sustainability (at a very competitive cost). Today’s high performance concrete has very little to do with a cracked sidewalk and everything to do with lasting design in the hands of a master artisan. We utilize these capabilities to invest the concrete with soul: captured within the finished pieces are the craftsman, the dweller, and their environment. When the completed elements are delivered and brought into their intended places, they belong – because they were consciously made for that person and place alone. This is the essence of appropriate design.
Once again, you can get more information about Concrete Detail on their website. Thanks Richard!