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Highlight Of The Week: USA-Made Concrete Bowls

Concrete bowls are fabulous additions to any outdoor living space! Our durable and beautiful accents are handmade in Phoenix, Arizona!

Find out why our USA-Made bowls are so popular, and how to care for and maintain them!

 Jul 10, 2017  Fire Bowl Tips & Tricks, Scupper Bowl Tips & Tricks

Concrete Bowls: USA-Made!We're sure you've heard of our world famous outdoor concrete fire bowls by now, but are you familiar with the origin of these unique features? Where they came from or the process that goes into producing each individual piece? We're excited to debut these lovely outdoor creations in our focus on American-made products for the month of July! Let us tell you more about these great products so that you can learn all about why our concrete fire and water bowls so popular and special!

Made in Phoenix, AZUSA-MADE BOWLS

We love that our beautiful precast concrete features come from Phoenix, Arizona, USA! They truly are handcrafted masterpieces that offer a flavor of southwest décor and compliment any backyard space. Precast concrete simply means the product is fabricated by pouring the material into a reusable form (or mold). It is then cured it in a temperature-controlled environment. The result is a quality product that is strong, durable, and esthetic!

Whether you are emphasizing your poolscape with sultry fire bowls or a combination fire and water pot, highlighting your landscape with a quaint DIY scupper bowl fountain, or using your feature as a concrete planter bowl, these American-made accents are eye-catching pieces that are made to last!

WHO CREATES THEM

Talented and experienced tradesmen from right here in the USA make up the crew of individuals who take pride and passion in creating exclusive pieces, tailor-made for each customer. These ladies and gentlemen compile their mastery of art, engineering, masonry, and concrete casting to produce the superior products that Fireside Expressions is honored to headline! They say there is no substitute for hard work and dedication, which is exactly why we favor this team of artisans and their fine-crafted concrete bowls!

Milano concrete fire bowlHOW THEY'RE CREATED

All of our bowls, whether they are designed with a conventional or decorative facade, are made according to the customer's specifications. We have many sizes available, from a modest 18-inch square basin to an extravagant 60 inch round fire pit bowl! As far as styles go, we have beautiful features that offer simple and clean lines, or something a little more ornate, such as our Italian inspired bowls (check out the 47-inch Milano concrete fire bowl, shown at right). You can also pick from nine rustic shades to match the décor in your outdoor living space!

Once your selections have been submitted, our master artisans get to work creating your custom-piece! While we do have a tooling and mold shop to produce these works-of-art, please don't confuse it with a warehouse. These concrete features are not made ahead of time and placed on shelves or pallets, waiting for a suitable requisition to send it on its way. With your specifications, our artisans will begin the process of preparing a concrete mixture. Just before it is hand-poured into a mold that matches the dimension and motif that you've chosen, a coloring additive is blended in, creating a beautiful fusion that will be consistent throughout your bowl.

Left to right (please note the colors demonstrated are approximate):

  • pouring Adobe coloring additive into concrete
  • mixing concrete blend with Adobe coloring additive
  • example of concrete and Brown coloring additive after blending process
Coloring additive is poured into concrete.   Mixing color into the concrete.   Concrete mixture shown in taupe.

Even if, for some reason, your bowl should become subject to an accidental nick or chip, you'll find that the blemish will be virtually unnoticeable because the color is uniform. Additionally, this means that you will never have to “touch up” your concrete bowl with paint in the future! We don't believe in surface painting – this is an inferior practice that is characteristic of lower quality products. 

Precast concrete will display air pockets - these are not flaws!One thing we must point out about these precast concrete products is their surface texture. You'll notice with these bowls, air pockets (shown at right) can be seen and are a common occurrence with this material and fabrication process. The frequency and size of the pockets cannot be controlled in any way. This is not considered this a flaw; rather, a characteristic that adds to the uniqueness and natural beauty of your bowl. 


You can use your concrete bowl as a planter!PROPER CARE AND MAINTENANCE

We want your bowl to be an elegant and charming outdoor feature that will withstand Mother Nature's elements and provide you with many years of enjoyment. Whether you are using it for a fire, water, or planter feature, there are some ways that you can care for an maintain your product to ensure a long life! 

  • Cleaning and routine care:
    • To minimize any scratches that may occur due to the use of the product, avoid contacting the surface with any heavy, rough, or sharp objects.
    • Hairline cracks and spotting (1/16" or less) are not flaws or manufacturing defects. Due to the nature of the material, these variances may occur naturally and are considered part of your product's character.
    • Concrete products are porous. This means that they are susceptible to discoloration and stains from oils, acidic substances, and caustic liquids (such as bleach, degreasers, chemical sprays, etc.). Clean up any spills immediately to prevent damaging the finish.
    • To clean your concrete product: wash with a mild soap and water solution (1 part soap: 4 parts water) and a soft cloth. For stubborn stains, combine 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water and gently scrub with a soft-bristled (vinyl) brush. Allow your product to dry.
    • To preserve the surface of your concrete product, apply a masonry/concrete sealer once a year. Make sure to wait 24 hours after cleaning your product before applying this protective coating.
    • Just like natural stone, concrete will develop a patina in your outdoor living space due to oxidation and exposure to natural elements. Because no two products are identical, we recommend consulting your owner's manual for more detailed instructions on how to care for the concrete surface.
  • Protect a concrete bowl from the elements:
    • A great option for protecting your concrete bowl is to apply a good quality sealer. This should be done at least once a year. Remember to thoroughly clean your outdoor feature before applying the sealer. We also recommend getting a cover to keep your product looking like brand new!

  • Sealing a concrete bowl:
    • We highly recommend sealing your concrete bowl. Just like anything else that remains outside, if you want it to maintain its pristine look, it should be protected from the elements. Simply apply a layer of good quality sealant to your bowl once a year. Proper care and maintenance will allow you to enjoy it for many years to come.

Now that you can see why we love these gorgeous, easy to care for products, we hope you'll check out our line of must-have concrete bowls for your outdoor living space! Our fire bowls can be set up for use with natural gas or propane. Remember to add some pizzazz to your outdoor feature with our line of heat-rated media (lava rock, river stones, and fire glass)!

 

Last updated on July 10th 2017.

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