Verticle Artisans Blog

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

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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Living Tree Art with Earl Senchuk makes Canadian Debut

Earl continues to impress the media as the eye candy he calls Living Tree Art begins its journey through the pages of several home and garden magazines.  in this latest addition of Ontarios Garden Central, Melissa Cornwell does a special write up on Earls latest living tree art.

 

 

 There are a lot of factors to making a tree and all the secrets to Earls methods are found in his course. Living Tree Art 

Earls plans for this year also include another class fabricating much smaller trees, Perhaps even small enough to fit on top of a table.

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Spare Room Wine Cellar Project Goes Vertical Concrete --- A Nice Wine Tasting Area

This spare room was approximately 14 x 19 and had very a large ceiling height.   This simply means that the possibilities are endless.    In this case we decided to go with the groin ceiling.    this option enabled us to capture a very nostalgic look and stay true to an old world theme.    Most wine cellars offer great racking systems tiled floors and marble countertops.    in this case we chose to bring back some of the more traditional building materials  such as reclaimed barn lumber plaster and stone.    our 1st step was to install the groin ceiling.    After the walls were framed in the ceiling was in place lighting elements of power were added.    Each location of stone was predetermined by the client.    Color and style are also choices that were determined.    Once the concrete was sculpted on the wall then it was stained and painted for the finish and final effect.    We have to faux finish rocks before we put the plaster down  because after the plaster has been applied the processes are a great deal harder.

 This look has been attempted by many finishers over the decades  it has achieved marginal success.     instead of using joint compound to fabricate the brick or stone we use vertical decorative concrete.    The method that we use also interacts with the plaster to create seamless interaction and unprecedented realism.

Goris2013.1

 

 

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The Official Launch of Vertical Artisans 2.0

Vertical Artisans 2.0 Press Release

Date: March 7th 2013

From Nathan Giffin

Vertical Artisans Owner

After 5 years of service we are now launching a massive upgrade to the site.   The new software system utilizes many new features for students.

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The Official Launch of Vertical Artisans 2.0

Vertical Artisans 2.0 Press Release

Date: March 7th 2013

From Nathan Giffin

Vertical Artisans Owner

After 5 years of service we are now launching a massive upgrade to the site.   The new software system utilizes many new features for students.

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Contractor Check List

Many times over the last several years I have done classes or training for folks and there has always been things that have been left out that are critical to the over all  productivity of the job.   These can be small things but they are really important.  So this is a check list that may help you stay focused and prepared.

Contractor Check List

Prior to the project starting

1.) Before starting the project have a signed contract.

2. Make sure the contract details your responsibilities and the clients responsibilities through the duration of the project.  If the responsibilities that you have laid down for the client are not meet then there needs to be a penalty for your wasted time.

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Vertical Artisans International

I wanted everyone to know that the Vertical Artisans International Web Site is underway.  This Web site will be another teaching site very much like the first one, however, the VDO's  will not have any voice over and the teaching will be primarily text, diagrams and pictures.  The VDO's will be illustrations of what is taught.

On the face of the site people will be able to click on the flag from which country they are from and the entire site will be converted to their own language.

I feel this site will really serve the artists over seas as much as the artists that speak English.   This site must be completed by the Mid summer as I will be holding classes in France and Italy...and perhaps Argentina as well.

I am very excited to share all of this with you as many of you are from other countries beside the USA.

If any of you have any ideas or upgrades you would like to see, please note them here.

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Vertical Artisans International

I wanted everyone to know that the Vertical Artisans International Web Site is underway.  This Web site will be another teaching site very much like the first one, however, the VDO's  will not have any voice over and the teaching will be primarily text, diagrams and pictures.  The VDO's will be illustrations of what is taught.

On the face of the site people will be able to click on the flag from which country they are from and the entire site will be converted to their own language.

I feel this site will really serve the artists over seas as much as the artists that speak English.   This site must be completed by the Mid summer as I will be holding classes in France and Italy...and perhaps Argentina as well.

I am very excited to share all of this with you as many of you are from other countries beside the USA.

If any of you have any ideas or upgrades you would like to see, please note them here.

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