On the surface, concrete is rather bland. Unless it’s been finished or painted, it’s usually a dull grey color. While looking at concrete in its pure form, you would be forgiven for feeling wholly uninspired. Even just the act of mixing and pouring concrete can be tedious.
However, if you take a closer look — especially at companies and individuals who’ve been working with concrete for years — it’s more akin to art.
What Is Concrete?
Concrete is a composition made up of materials including water, aggregate and cement, with cement comprising the bulk of the mixture. No matter what you’re making with it, such as a foundation, well, wall, walkway or another project entirely, it will take a great deal of time and effort to complete. Most of all, it’s a labor of love that requires a serious attention to detail.
Some of the more famous concrete structures in the world are more than just fascinating, they’re awe-inspiring. We’re talking about things like the Hoover Dam, Roman Pantheon, Panama Canal and even the Roman Coliseum, which was largely designed with concrete. It’s an incredibly versatile building material.
Today, we use concrete to build pools, driveways, foundations, whole building frames and much more. It’s further strengthened with other components such as rebar, but for the most part concrete is strong on its own.
Concrete Is an Art
So, where does the art come in to play?
Expertly pouring concrete and working with it is not the type of project you can just learn overnight. It takes years, maybe even decades, of experience to build the kind of structures we discussed above. Heck, even laying an attractive walkway for your backyard can be difficult, even more so when you factor in shaping, curing and finishing the final product.
That’s not to say you couldn’t learn it yourself. The point is, no matter how dull it may seem, it takes skill and finesse to build with concrete. Just do a web search for examples of things contractors and builders have been able to create with concrete slab. There are concrete walkways that look like authentic marble, and concrete walls that look like they’ve been carved out of native-mountain rock. It really is amazing.
Sure, the act of mixing and pouring doesn’t seem like much. When you stop and think about it, though, neither does spreading and mixing paint on a palette. After it leaves the brush and moves onto the canvas, that’s when it takes the shape of true art. In comparison, the visual art of concrete comes into play after the project is over, yet the true art comes from the labor and care performed up until that point.
Seeing Greater Beauty
We challenge you to look at any concrete structure, pool, walkway or otherwise and not see it as a form of man-made beauty.
There really are some amazing things out there, made almost entirely of concrete. So, the next time you’re about to dismiss it for being bland, uninspired and downright ugly, take a closer look first. Perhaps you’re the one who’s unable to see the art, and not the other way around.