Questions and Answers about Artificial Rock making.
How detailed are the artificial fake rock DVD's?
Over a twenty year period many hands on artificial rock making workshops on the art of making realistic artificial fake rock have been successfully run. We were constantly amazed at the diversity of the people both male and female who attended these workshops. This included persons who have worked in landscaping, landscape design and garden construction for a long time. In addition to others who have never even touched portland cement before.
The main things learned over those years are instilled into the faux rockmaking dvds. In a teaching situation the teacher or expert is not the only teacher, the students are as well. A lot was learnt from conducting these workshops. Such as where people are commonly likely to get stuck with a certain stage of the rock making process. As well as commonly asked questions. Also not to assume that everyone knows basic building and gardening ‘trade talk’.
The artificial rock making dvds are a combination of keeping the construction techniques very simple. While showing you how in your own garden. To potentially make some of the most realistic fake, faux rock you are likely to see.
So your Artificial Rock making and Fake Rock methods aren't a fixed.. you have to do it this way or otherwise it wont work scenario?
No definitely not. If you follow the step by step methods outlined on the artificial how to rock making dvds and use the materials demonstrated with or in the very least materials that are compatible. Than no doubt you will end up with a handcrafted rock. If there are certain materials that may not be available for colouring and texturing in your region its ok… these artificial rock making techniques are flexible and adaptable. Look around to see what’s in the garage, at the local hardwares and tradesman suppliers and you will more than likely come up with what you need to make your own rock. Maybe come up with your own personalised adaptions and that’s a good thing because we are not about selling you a system, but rather a way to make great fake rock that you can expand your own ideas on.
You mentioned longevity of your artificial rock in an earlier answer. If I follow your instructions as outlined on the artificial rock making dvds.. how long could I expect say a group of fake rocks and boulder features built in my garden to last out in the elements?
Without factoring in cyclones, hurricanes, earthquakes, ice ages etc your fake solid, hollow and waterfall rocks more than likely will still be here when we’re not…
What about wear and tear on the artificial rock surfaces?
The most important thing when making handmade faux rock and especially artificial rock waterfall and pond features is to make sure your sand and portland cements are well mixed together. Inadequate mixing of the cement with other materials is the major cause of artificial rocks breaking apart and bits falling off. The fake artificial rock surfaces wear really well and if anything should just improve with ageing due to the layers of color and sand textures used.
I see you you have two methods of making artificial rock..ie fake solid rock and artificial hollow rock is one method easier than the other or are they the same?
Making solid fake rock is an easier process to start with. Gives you the hands on feeling of working with cement based mortars. Whereas the hollow rock making techniques involve more materials and more time in the construction phase.
There is as you are might be aware quite a lot of conjecture as to the subject of artificial rock and possible wear and tear associated with swimming pools. My opinion is that any water that has levels of salt in it will eventually cause some form of erosion, after all that’s what it does in nature.
To your specific question…my techniques of rock making and their end result are raw concrete and mortar combined which becomes a finished porous surface, kind of like sandstock bricks ie. designed to breathe. How much neat cement and what type of sands you use in the surface final mortar mix can determine how hard that mix will set and how well it will wear with the constant flow of chemical or salt water.
There are a lot of sealers on the market which also in my opinion can help with varying degrees of success with the wear on the artificial rocks surface. But like a coating of wax on a cars metal surface you apply wax not just once but lets say for example, periodically.
Sealers are similar, they have a running time that they are effective. Then you need to reseal the area again.
For porous surfaces. I feel the penetrating sealers are far more suitable than a sealer that simply sits on the rocks surface. It should also be a sealer that dries without leaving a glossy un life like surface on your work. We don’t sell sealers. I can only tell you from my experience what seems to work the best. Such as a penetrating sealer. That is suitable to deal with and recommended for a surface being regularly damp or wet. These you will find in your research under differing brand names.
When we designed our educational Rock making techniques. It wasn’t with swimming pools in mind and for good reason. Although I have myself used them for several pool waterfalls with success. That is mainly because of my years of experience.
I do not make claim nor endorse our Rock making methods for use in swimming pools or waterfalls. Because a high number of the people who purchase our DVDs often have little or no experience in making rock. Have little knowledge of the fundamentals of concrete structure and construction. Should in no way be entertaining thoughts about doing this sort of work around their pool. Without someone on hand with extensive experience in this area of expertise. Its a specialty field. I am aware that there are a few companies in the U.S that sell educational dvds and books. Specifically catering specifically for swimming pools and the like.
I don’t wont to turn you off our rock making methods. I need to explain that honestly and also outright. You can do amazing creations with our methods. If you were wanting them for pool decoration and a waterfall make sure you have on site guidance. From someone who has the necessary experience required to complete your project with safe construction and longevity in mind.
Keith Tutor & Dany Van Zanten