As we prepare to receive attendees of the May 6-8, 2014 2.5-day Fabric-Forming Concrete Sink + GFRC Workshop, we reflect back on our beginnings.
I (Brandon Gore) have only taken one concrete related class, and that was with Buddy Rhodes of Buddy Rhodes Studio many years ago. Buddy's shop was huge, employees were everywhere, mixing, placing and polishing concrete; it was as if he and his studio were the Willy Wonka of concrete.
Thinking back, I can recall the excitement and possibility of this burgeoning industry; it's as palpable now as it was then. Concrete sinks and countertops were just coming onto the scene. GFRC hadn't become the standard and fabric-forming was unexplored. Anything was possible, which was good and bad. Decorative and interior architectural concrete hadn't gained a foothold yet, so the thoughts of failure were visceral - could a small studio make it? That was uncharted territory.
A decade later and that question has been answered, and it is a resounding 'YES!' Small studios can not only survive but thrive. The materials, tools, technologies and processes have gone through a quantum leap since then, but the entrepreneurial ethos remains a constant. The sustained heartbeat of this industry comes from the artisans and craftsman that care deeply about the quality of each and every piece they create by hand. It is in this spirit that we welcome the attendees of the May 6-8th workshop, and we hope to see them grow along with the industry in the coming decade.