Verticle Artisans Blog

Catch up on all the latest news, tips, and tricks.

Foam Core Construction - What You Need to Start for Vertical Decorative Concrete

Foam Core Construction -
What You Need to Start for Vertical Decorative Concrete
Foam Core Construction -What You Need to Start for Vertical Decorative ConcreteBy Nathan Giffin of Vertical ArtisansWhen considering this field or form of construction there are a few things that really need to be in place.   The tools required to assist you in the production of a foam core project are really quite different than most of the t...
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Concepts on Mix Designs vs Bag Mixes and Add Pac's

Concepts on Mix Designs vs Bag Mixes and Add Pac's
Concepts on Mix Designs vs Bag Mixes and Add Pac's"What do you use" is the most frequent question I have been asked over the years.It has been a journey I must say.But I feel after twenty years of sculpting concrete, I should be able to weigh in on some of these issues that frequently pop up in various circles. I would like to take some time to ide...
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Should I Use Paint or Stains When Coloring Vertical Decorative Concrete?

Should I Use Paint or Stains When Coloring Vertical Decorative Concrete?By Nathan Giffin of Vertical ArtisansThis is a tough topic to talk about.There are many angles to this conversation but I will offer up my experience over the last two decades and hopefully you will walk away with some understanding on the topic.When I first started my career i...
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How to Effectively Use Texture Rollers

How to Effectively Use Texture Rollers
How to Effectively Use Texture RollersBy Nathan Giffin of Vertical ArtisansThis may seem like a dumb statement but many who buy texture rollers are only getting the obvious use out of them.The simple release and roll over fresh mud is the obvious method for using a texture roller but is there more to these simple tools.Keeping your rollers clean an...
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How to Stamp Vertical Decorative Concrete

How to Stamp Vertical Decorative Concrete
How to Stamp Vertical Decorative ConcreteBy Nathan Giffin of Vertical ArtisansVertical Stamping is the easiest way to create a simulated rock pattern in vertical decorative concrete.There are many stamps to choose form and color staining is endless.However, without following the proper steps even the most experienced contractor can really botch up ...
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How to Prepare a Scratch Coat

How to Prepare a Scratch Coat
How to Prepare a Scratch CoatBy Nathan Giffin of Vertical ArtisansScratch coats are particularly important in the world of vertical decorative concrete.I have even said a scratch coat makes or breaks the job.I say this because in vertical decorative concrete, contractors must lay up a lot more than a regular plaster application.Most of the time we ...
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​It's the Marketing team that gets the consumer to the ticket booth

​It's the Marketing team that gets the consumer to the ticket booth. By Jody Smith I was asked by Nathan Giffin to share some thoughts on how important internet marketing is with his members of Vertical Artisans. I enjoy talking about the way I have marketed my own businesses over the years and created many brands along the way. In 2007 I...
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2016 - A Year for Innovations

2016 - A Year for Innovations
2016 - A Year for InnovationsOver the years, the industry has produced many nice innovations for decorative concrete. This year I have seen some of the most exciting innovations take place in multiple arenas of the decorative concrete industry. I have always felt that Walt Tools has been a leader in the market place because many years ago, they off...
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Marketing Today Requires Special Insights and Skills

​GoingCoastalWeb.com offers something different to the world of decorative concrete. Going Coastal Web is a business that offers all kinds of advertising and creatives. These are all created from the view of a decorative concrete artist.The owner Jody Smith owns and operates a decorative concrete business called Coastal Rock Productions and wo...
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Sales Mistakes That Could Be Costing You Millions

​SALES MISTAKES THAT COULD BE COSTING YOU MILLIONS by Thomas Nestor There's a truism that every sales professional knows all too well. The longer the sales cycle, the bigger the risk. When I worked for Tony Robbins, we were trained in the Law of Diminishing Intent… or what we called LODI. Basically, the longer the sales process, the less ...
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The Stone Matrix --- The Awakening of Vertical Decorative Concrete

​As a decorative concrete trainer I have seen many people take courses and learn a great deal about vertical decorative concrete over the last decade.They come from all walks of life which was a great surprise to me personally as I was under the belief that most people interested in the craft would be from the decorative concrete realm.However, thi...
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Two Days and Two Hours

​Whats started out as a challenge with a local landscaper turned into a wonderful opportunity to make a masterpiece.   The clients want a Mickey Mouse shaped patio environment with accompanying seat walls.   Introduce Hardscape Systems.  This project was started and the final sealer was applied on the third day within 2 hours. Th...
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World of Concrete 2015 First Day Overview

Just so you know the video footage of what we have accomplished at the WOC event is being edited and will be posted in the CORE course on Vertical Artisans

This Blog post is for those of you who want a early overview of the process.

First Set out your foam sub straights.

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Walttools Releases Their New Ultra Performance Concrete Bond Coating Mix

Walttools Releases Their New Ultra Performance Concrete Bond Coating Mix 

Walttools is announcing the availability of Structure Coat, their new concrete bond coating mix for use in the decorative concrete arena as the ultimate product for reinforced scratch coat applications. 

 

Structure Coat on Foam Wall

"It is an excellent structural coating. Whether I shoot it or lay it up by hand, one half inch is as tough as nails. My structure is sound and ready for my carve coat", says Nathan Giffin of Vertical Artisans

Morris, Illinois (PRWEB) October 24, 2014 

Structure Coat made its first public debut at the 2014 Concrete Décor show in Ft. Worth Texas last month in the hands of Nathan Giffin of Vertical Artisans. This product is designed to offer the contractor a highly reinforced base mix, ideally used as a scratch coat for application of a decorative vertical concrete overlay such as their Tru Pac admix, cultured stone and other stone veneers. It excels as a bond coat on structural foam and EPS foam, but also on cement board, clean concrete, and other related surfaces without the need for a bonding agent. Structure Coat was engineered for superior strength and water resistance that far exceeds traditional mortars used in that capacity. 

It can be applied via hand or proper concrete pump/spray application. Additional applications for this product is that it serves well as a high strength patching compound. 

Structure Coat will be available through select decorative concrete supply distributors.

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A Crew of Artists Build a Family Amusement Park in Canada With Special Concrete

Dan Sawatzky's company–Imagination Corporation–creates a land of whimsical wonder with concrete, colors, and creativity. Just completed is the Cultus Lake Adventure Park in B.C, Canada, and it has opened to rave reviews.

 

Dan Sawatzky of Imagination Corporation in Chilliwack, B.C. Canada has a company mantra: “We simply do not do things like everyone else.” That may sound a bit lofty, maybe overstated, but after a few minutes of taking in the whimsical wonders on his company website, anyone will certainly come to the conclusion that his mantra is wholly understated. Imagination Corporation is in the business of creating wonders, true landmarks, if you will. From signs and small structures to whole amusement parks, their goal is to create 3D environments that will let the imagination run wild.

Their latest completed project is nothing short of earning accolades of wonder. One of the biggest “wonders” is that they do much of their magical creation with concrete–yes concrete, that boring gray stuff walked on by everyone, every day. In this case, this special concrete was a specific mix design from Walttools, a decorative concrete supply manufacturer that specializes in the formulation of carveable concrete mixes. One may say that most construction is made from concrete anyway, so why is this notable? It is not that the construction was done with concrete in as much as in what methods the concrete was used and the manipulative artistry involved.

The Cultus Lake Adventure Park, Cultus Lake British Columbia, Canada was a 10-month project in which the Sawatzky crew used TRU PAC X (a specialty concrete add mix) to perform their artistic transormations. "Our first order(to try the product) was for 150 bags and the first day we put it into use we were converted," wrote Sawatzky. "I placed a second order for 600 bags that same day. It allowed our newer people to apply the concrete like our seasoned veterans, and our veterans to work their pure magic. The ten-month project is now complete and turned out fabulous.” What Sawatzky and his crew can do with this concrete is amazing. It is nothing short of an art medium and this talented crew or artisans can certainly show that off.

Almost every structure to be seen at this family amusement park was covered with carved and colored concrete. His crew gives caricature-like life to inanimate objects with intricate design details throughout the park and will provide a visitor a great view in any direction.

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Teaching Living Tree Art at the West Coast Training Class #3 in Lorane, Oregon

I love to teach Living Tree Art.  I just didn’t know it yet, that is, until I got to Lorane, Oregon and the West Coast Training Center Class No 3 put on by Nathan Giffin of VerticalArtisans.com.  What a great experience that started with my stay at a bed and breakfast called the Blue Rooster.  Let’s start with a video and some photos of what a magnificent place this is to visit.

 

 

On the way here with Nathan Giffin and Jody Smith, we saw about a dozen elk strutting across a field like this.  What else can I say.  The Blue Rooster sits on the historic Oregon Trail in a most beautiful valley.  The proprietor, Nancy Pelton, is the former owner of a restaurant that ranked in the top 25 in Wisconsin. I’m not sure if restaurants are rated at four or five stars, but all of the breakfasts at the Blue Rooster were definitely five star.  Lots of great chats and interesting history.  I didn’t want to leave.  I asked Nancy if she would adopt me.  Here’s a picture of the barn built in 1880.  This was erected back in the days when neighbors would help neighbors to do barn building.  We may be going back to that someday, soon, I hope.

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Bad Material or User Error - Overview on Tru-Pac

I was talking to Don at Walt Tools the other day 

And we began to discuss several problems in the indusrty .... so here is a FAQ on their Tru pak line....

I will add comments in RED 

What are the differences between the Trupac X and Trupac V?

Tru Pac V is a 20 lb ad pac that is added to a 60 lb bag of TYPE N MORTAR MIX.  It is a traditional vertical mix in that it is designed to be applied from 1-4 inches thick, is considered lightweight and has a long working time. It is recommended for both indoor and outdoor with a proper water proofer. It should always be applied into a proper scratch coat.

Tru Pac X is a very versatile, high strength 16 lb ad pac that is added to an 80 lb bag of TYPE S MORTAR MIX.  It can be applied from approximately ¼ inch up to 4 inches on properly profiles scratch coats. It is non-lightweight, resin and fiber modified and used both indoor and outdoor. Its uses range from decorative vertical, countertops, furniture and some flatwork overlayment.

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Up and Coming West Coast Training Center Class #3

WESTCOASTLRG

 

Vertical Artisans Hands On Training Event In Oregon April 28th – May 2nd

 

Every Year Vertical Artisans throws a extreme training class in Lorane Oregon in an underground house.

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"The Wedding Tree " The latest invention in Living Tree Art

I recently recieved a letter from Earl on his latest invention and thought to pass it along.

Bob Ross, the famous painter on PBS calls them, “happy accidents.”   It’s when an unplanned move in art creates an unexpected and favorable result.

With less than three weeks left to go before my solo art show at Zero Degrees Gallery in Marquette, MI starting in March, I was quite disappointed to learn that there was no way I could get seven, healthy potted plants that would cover the pots in time for the show.  I had already spent two weeks making the Living Tree Art piece meant to hold the pots in rings.  I had no choice but to go faux against the very namesake of Living Tree Art.

After spending several hours over the course of two days searching Michael’s Crafts store, I spent $120 on faux plants and seven, 4″ Styrofoam balls.  When I got home, I cut all the leaves and flowers into individual pieces and stuck them all into the Styrofoam balls that were now painted a blotchy dark brown and green.  Then I jammed the Styrofoam balls onto the pin posts meant to hold the rings for the intended pots.

I decided to name it “Wedding Tree.” The display is meant for the wedding table that holds the gifts.   The flowers on this Wedding Tree could just as easily be made to match the tone and color of the bridesmaids’ dresses, or colored appropriately for a completely different social event where say, fall colors might work.  The permutations in design possibilities for the trees are endless. Most important of all, making these trees might open doors for a welder looking for some spare income while creating opportunity for florists to entertain an untapped market for Living Tree Art (with a twist of course).

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Earls Full Article --- Earls Petunias

Earl Petunias-1

Earl Petunias-2

Earl Petunias-3

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