Darren's journey into the artisan concrete world began some 32 years ago. After high school he work taking broken twisted pieces of aluminum, brass,and stainless steel and reworking them back to their original form as boat propellers. His skills were honed through the process of straightening, welding and grinding, returning damaged propellers to their previous shape and ready for action.
Eventually concrete came calling and he took the skills acquired through owning and operating a propeller repair business with his father to the construction industry. His depth of understanding and attention to detail helped him quickly work his way from a concrete laborer to a carpenter form work foreman. With 10 years under in belt in the construction industry and having to commute hours per day to keep working and with a young son at home, he was yearning for something closer to home.
Browsing in a book store one day he came across a book about concrete counter tops. At first skeptical about the application, thinking the author was crazy, he crafted counter tops for his own home. It was all over. Since then, it has been a process of trial, error, frustration and triumph. To this day, concrete is never far from his mind. He is always thinking of new details, forms, or uses that bring his unique hopes and visions to life.
“It's like if you plant something in the concrete and if it grow and the rose petal got all kinda scratches and marks, you ain't gonna say "damn, look at all the scratches and marks on the rose that grew from the concrete.." you gonna be like "DAMN! a ROSE grew from the CONCRETE!!"” Tupac Shakur
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
― Martha Graham
CRAFT, DESIGN, PASSION
Upper Canada Castcrete is a small concrete design company that is passionate about making beautiful useful objects that serve and enrich our lives. But our focus is more than just beautiful objects. We are doing our part in developing a culture that values the individual and the work of his or her hand. We are working to live rich lives through creating artifacts that speak deeply to us. We have a heritage of making in this country; a heritage that is largely being devalued and romanticized. And as far as we are concerned, this is not acceptable. We think the objects that one surrounds themselves with should enrich their lives, bring daily enjoyment, and be valued beyond its basic utility. Life is so much more than just what we own and what we own should be more than just stuff. Are we not nauseated by mass produced plastic perfection? The process and product of hand craftsmanship connects us all to our own humanity and to each other. We are fighting the good fight against modern cynicism and our jaded consumer culture. Our concrete tells a story. A story of locality, community and life. It is distinctive, versatile, and reliable; a reflection of our humanness. In the end we are just simple designer/makers following our passion, crafting decorative concrete countertops and sinks and elements in the Peterborough area.
ABOUT OUR CONCRETE
We feel that concrete is an undervalued and misunderstood material, often thought of as being cold, too industrial and impractical for real living. We beg to differ. Concrete can be warm, distinctive, versatile and reliable, a reflection of our own uniqueness.
Our proprietary techniques and finishes achieve a unique and raw visual texture.Concrete really is a
modern craft. We appreciate and value quality craftsmanship, whether it be metal working, pottery or
the like. Craft is a celebration of human passion,skill and joy, but it is often associated with times gone
by or traditional methods. Concrete as an artisan material and skill does not have a very long history,
but it is now coming into its own. It is really a modern craft and in purchasing our handiwork or any
other concrete artisan you are supporting a Canadian Modern Craft; keeping marketable skills and
production here at home. Thank you for you support and appreciation.