Is there anything else that can be done with Faswall building materials other than build homes or buildings? Yes! In the case of a homeowner with a Faswall home in Washington, an outdoor mosaic bench was the perfect entry focal point. Frank Bauer is a ceramic artist who makes his own tiles for his art. The homeowner discovered Frank’s art while living in Venice and commissioned a bench from him before construction on the house even began.
With the artistic focal point in mind, the concrete installers poured the bench form made from spare Faswall Blocks while pouring concrete for the patios at the same time, creating the perfect base for the mosaic installation. To achieve the mosaic, Frank created the ceramic tiles in his studio in California and then installed them in person.
Bauer makes his tiles by rolling out and shaping wet clay, using things like antique milk crates to make certain shapes. The homeowner requested aquatic themes, so Bauer carved an octopus and jellyfish, among others, and then glazed and kiln-fired them. He created the mosaic from these custom components in his studio on fiberglass mesh. He then installed the final work in sections at the site, using a thinset mortar over the Faswall bench. Finally, the project was grouted with an appropriate exterior grout.
While working on this project, Bauer came to appreciate the Faswall versatility. “I thought it was a great product because it’s recyclable and not that heavy,” he says. “You can shape it, which you can’t do with a cinder block, so the sky’s the limit as far as shapes that you could come up with to mortar together.”
The homeowner chose Faswall for her home construction because of chemical sensitivities. She wanted and needed a non-toxic and sustainable home due to several medical problems that are made worse by poor air quality. “I chose Faswall insulating concrete forms to build my house, with raw clay plaster on the interior walls, and I have been very pleased with the result,” she says. “The air quality is great and the house is very energy efficient.”
Non-Toxic Building Material
While the inside of the home is comfortable and healthy, the outside needed a focal point as well. Prior to moving to Washington, she had lived by the ocean in California and wanted to bring a sense of that with her when she moved to the mountains. The homeowner says Bauer’s design that he came up with for the bench is more beautiful than anything she imagined. The bench is 6 feet long, 18 inches wide, and two feet high and is resting on a bed of gravel. Although it is heavy, it is feasible to move this bench with a forklift.
“It gives me great joy to see the bench every time I walk out the front door,” she says. “The color palette Frank chose complements the house very well and the beautiful blue octopus always makes me smile. Seeing this bench will make me happy whenever I enter or leave my house!”
Want to get your own Faswall bench or other Faswall project going (storage shed, yoga studio, garden shed, pool house)? Give us a call!