This is the website of Iain Bruce. Look, enjoy, and feel free to contact me with questions or comments.
I am an artist serving Vancouver Island and the surrounding Gulf Islands, and have enjoyed working with concrete for many years. This web page is still in its very early stages, but please take from it what you can. I want you to leave educated and confident about your options. If we can work together as a result of this knowledge then all the better.
|Concrete Gallery - The photos below will give you an idea of what can be accomplished with concrete. As you can see, concrete does not need to be the hard, rough surface that one grows up knowing. In skilled hands, concrete can appear soft like leather and smooth like polished marble.|
|What appears to be a simple concrete sign goes further than using recycled materials to reduce the reliance of negative ingredients like cement. It includes shells and stones from the very beach on which the hospital was built more than one hundred years ago, adding sentimental value. Pieces of tempered glass scatter the sign's perimeter creating depth for the curious and at the same time avoid a trip to the landfill, as tempered glass is not yet recyclable.|
|Eight pairs of these stands were designed for a client in the Gulf Islands. Local beach stones were used as accents near the base of each 52 lb. stand. To further keep in theme with its ocean front home, each base was lightly ground and polished to reveal its sandy core. Each base was also fitted with a protective felt base, speaker wire conduit, and threaded holes in the base and plate for audio spikes.|
|This dinosaur was created to avoid yet another boring retaining wall. It creates conversation and kids both young and old appreciate the detail.|
|The backsplash of this bathroom vanity depicts the side profile of the Native Elder's face as seen in Mount Provost. The stones collected from the base of Mount Provost's cliff skirt the edge of the integral wave sink and cascade down the four inch thick front.|
|This oceanfront Cowichan Bay countertop was designed to compliment the beautiful Arbutus flooring and incorporate a meandering riverbed complete with spawning salmon. The salmon were created using fragments of recycled red glass.|
About Concrete Counter tops
We use GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete) rather than traditional concrete. One reason is flexural strength. Unlike concrete which gets its strength from aggregate and steel, GFRC uses a matrix of glass fibers which allows it to flex rather than fracture. This mix also allows each project to be lighter because most pieces are merely a shell. A project which appears to be a solid mass of stone may use up to 90 percent less material.
Strengths and Limitations (Scratches and Stains)
When I explain to a group of people that concrete will over its life develop the odd scratch or stain and that a natural patina will form, some people will be horrified while others will fall in love with the idea all the more. When it comes to countertops it is our belief that they should age like fine furniture; that your life should leave a mark on everything it touched. That is the point of having lived and loved. The streambed countertops shown in the photos above are over a year old and look more beautiful with each passing day.
GFRC allows for the creation of art pieces of incredible mass. Imagine a kitchen island that appears to be a massive stone on which the house was built around. Personalize it further by casting into it artefacts collected by family or close friends. These artefacts can include anything from fossils to jewelry, hieroglyphs to automotive parts. Recessed accent lights cast downward and onto the massive heated flagstones which encircle the island's perimeter.
Concrete has been used in commercial applications like wine tasting bars and coffee shops for years. Our mix design is strong and dense, similar to marble for stain resistance. Most stains that occur will disappear over 24 hours. Our sealer cures over time so you may see darkening. Countertops should be kept clear the first two weeks, and spills should be cleaned up as they occur with a damp cloth. A solution of one part Vinegar and ten parts water is a great environmental solution for cleaning.
The other type of chips are user created. We will not cover abuse, but perhaps you struck an edge with a cast iron pot. We will fix that for you. Chips will be repaired using a colour-matched epoxy.
We prefer to do the installation, but a client occasionally decides to install a piece themselves. And that is fine, but understand that doing so voids the warranty for the reasons above. Also know that hairline cracks may occur in narrow areas like around a sink or at an inside corner. These do not affect the integrity of a countertop, and add to the expected nature of concrete and stone.
Money, how much does it cost?
A project’s cost is weighed by the hour. Time spent in design, colour matching, inlays, grinding, and handling oversized pieces are all factors when quoting a project. That said the starting price for that basic rectangle will cost $80 per square foot. For your own piece of mind, we would suggest that if price is your main motivator, then perhaps you would be happier with an off-the-shelf product like Corian or granite which are quickly becoming commonplace.
OK, I want concrete in my home. Where do we begin?
Next, we will arrive to template. We require a deposit of 50% at this time. We require the cabinets to be in place, and any appliances or faucets to be on site for the sake of an accurate template. The templates are then taken back to our shop where will begin the process of constructing the molds for casting your pieces.
The installation details will be confirmed a minimum of 24 hours prior to agreed upon installation date. With everyone happy, the final payment will be made the date of the completed installation.
We look forward to creating a piece that reflects your distinct personality.
|Web Site by iART © 2012|