Year's Best Projects
Each year is full of interesting surprises and for the most part this year has been all good. We have had the opportunity to work on some really amazing and definitely unique projects. We have created some great new techniques this year in our mold making process as well as our different processes for texture. We have created a higher quality product while saving us and the customer some time and money. We have developed a new proprietary process for translucent concrete which among other things are becoming popular with the bar crowd.
Concrete Highlights of 2007. What is in store for the New Year?
Embeds. One of the perks that is solely unique to concrete is the ability to put whatever you want in the surface. We have seen trivets, fossils, towel bars, iron inlays, fruit bowls, drain boards, glass, rocks, shells, sinks, optics, agate slices, back lit agate slices, steel embeds, coins, and wine bottles. Our personal favorite that we contributed to this year and will most likely be seeing more of next year, embedded wine chillers. Our first one was embedded into a bar sink with fiber optics. The second one we made was integral part of the countertop with its own drain into the sink. One of JM's unique contributions to the compilation of different ways to enhance and set apart concrete from the rest of the materials out there.
Translucent Concrete. Fiber Optics and LEDs are becoming more and more popular and widely used in general. Naturally, they are becoming more widely used accenting concrete. The subject is getting more more press as in this past issue of Concrete Decor Magazine.
More fabricators will be seeking out tips and techniques and will be developing or enhancing new processes. This past year we enhanced our own technique for combining lighting and concrete. We have a new "Translucent Concrete", different than any other technique I have seen thus far, it glows rather than the pin point lighting of the fiber optics.
Patterns in Surfaces. This year there were countless design articles written about bringing color into the kitchen. We saw bright vibrant colors. As people are becoming more familiar with all the uses of concrete they will see how different concrete is than any other material. Of course, you are going to find cheaper options like some granites, however, for the slight cost difference and the options that are available to you, I think it is a slight increase for a world of options. ( I am bias however). We have been fortunate that our clients this passed year have not been calling us comparing us to granite guy that does 100 kitchens a week, they call us because they wanted something different, specialized and personal, so if you don't care about embeds, lighting options, color options, edge detail options, then the cost of concrete won't seem worth it to you, but it may be the most cost effective custom work you may ever have done. This kitchen countertop has gotten a lot of attention this year. It was used for an advertisement in dwell magazine www.fabconcretecountertops.com and has generated a new clientèle that wants their own custom patterns in surfaces.
Unnatural Concrete Furniture. Concrete is a natural choice for outdoor planters, piers, and lighting bollards. We are seeing more and more people expanding the traditional profile of what is expected from this material. We have seen tables, chairs, sills, shelves, benches. Last year at the World Of Concrete we saw the world's first all concrete Poker Table. We are seeing a lot more instances where concrete is loosing its clumsy bulky heavy appearance and it is being used for a variety of tastes and designs. It is no longer limited. As the awareness of what concrete is capable of increases, the demand and the ability of fabricators joins and we will continue to see more innovative functional yet artistic concrete furniture. We made a concrete suspension bridge that is a shelving unit. You can read the article about in the Outrageous Projects section on the Concrete Network's site.
I am sure there will be more new trends this year, things we haven't thought of yet. Looking forward to a new year always learning, always changing for the better, never settling and always doing something outrageous! Oh and we are also getting a new site for the new year, not up yet...you can still visit the old site at: