alchemy concrete works

concrete + wood + steel = alchemy

Purveyors of finely crafted concrete goods.

Accents of wood and metal thrown in for good measure.

sustainability
We are committed to understanding and reducing our impact on the natural environment.

Toward that end, we are continually seeking out cleaner and greener materials and processes.

We use eco-friendly concrete through environmentally friendly mixes, use of local material sources and recycled decorative accents.


 

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Working with concrete means practically limitless possibilities. You can have a concrete sink reminiscent of a French cook-room as a kitchen centerpiece…or a burnished concrete dining table with subtle flecking and pressed leaves in its top surface.

It’s not just about versatility; concrete is a beautiful material in its own right with its own set of benefits.

  • Earthy – Concrete is an all natural substance which combines elements like sand, stone, and cement. Because it’s not synthetic, expect pleasing variation instead of manufactured uniformity. Each piece of concrete has its own story.

  • Eco-friendly – Our concrete is eco-friendly in a number of ways. Many concrete mixtures use recycled material. We use VCAS. It is post-industrial waste which directly replaces cement in our mix. We can also replace sand and aggregate with recycled glass.

    • Concrete is not a petrol-based synthetic material. Making these materials uses high amounts of fossil fuels and releases dangerous chemicals into the environment. Cement production isn’t perfect, but has significantly less impact on the environment than the manufacture of petrol-based materials.

  • Durable – Using a soy concrete sealer on your decorative concrete piece will last scratch- and stain-free for decades. (A caveat: Cutting directly on the surface will harm your knife more than the counter-top. Placing hot items directly on the surface will mar the sealer and create a milky surface.  Under normal circumstances your concrete sealer does not need to be re-applied, but can be used to touch up a scratch.) We recommend a carnuba-beeswax polish to maintain your surface shine.

GFRC v. Conventional Concrete

We use a glass fiber reinforced concrete ("GFRC").  GFRC – "glass fiber reinforced concrete" is actually cement mortar with countless strands of embedded glass fiber; it is a true composite material. It does not have the graded rock aggregates or steel-reinforcing bars normally associated with concrete.  The principal material asset of GFRC is tensile strength or the ability to have strength when stretched. This tensile strength characteristic also creates dramatically enhanced impact strength. It shares equally the two primary assets of conventional concrete, which are compressive strength and longevity.

Conventional concrete has the trait known as "brittle failure" because it has a semi-crystalline structure, which tends to shatter on impact.  This is not the case with GRFC, as it does not experience brittle failure. The glass fiber tends to hold the material together because the fibers are dispersed randomly and lay in various directions within the material matrix.  

GFRC allows for:

  • Complex and intricate concrete shapes
  • Finish is completely smooth and pin hole free 99% of the time
  • 35-75% lighter than conventional concrete
  • Less than 1" in thickness dependent on the project at hand