We discussed the pits and as she called them “pock marks” for a long time. I couldn’t exactly figure out what the piece was to look like but I had an idea. It turns out this customer moved from a house that had a concrete countertop she was in love with. She explained how the surface was irregular, contained voids, cracks and natural variation. I first thought this was a cast in place countertop, one that would be hand worked with a trowel and smoothed. That style can have various degrees of smoothness and in some cases much variation. After further deliberation it was understood that the countertop was in fact molded and flipped. This allowed the craftsman to use small stones and mix consistency in such a way so as to create pockets around stones and some roughness overall.
Blasphemy really. For as long as we’ve been concreting, We’ve been tweaking techniques and recipes so as to produce void free smooth concrete. Pin holes and other voids do occur and the frequency in which they do is just about perfect for me. We fill them with grout and grind them smooth, they never blend in perfectly and the result is just perfect. But to leave “pock marks”..
It turns out this job was liberating. Because this kind of thing was new to us, we made about ten test panels. We were curious, we were breaking the rules, we were going nuts. Not all the panels turned out, but most did. We were developing a new technique, “rustic style”.
The next four customers who came to view samples at the shop were immediately drawn to the style and selected it for their home. We are able to do this style in all of our color offerings and various degrees of pitting. That first customer wanted some serious pits that are likely impractical for most. We are able to tone it down and produce countertops with shallower pits that are smooth enough that cleaning shouldn’t be too difficult. We have also produced this style with very few pits selectively placed as points of interest.
It’s a really fun style that produces something indistinguishable as concrete. If you’re really looking for the concrete look, and a conversation piece, Rustic Style might be for you.