Whether one considers a sandblasted, painted rock a form of art remains simply in the eye of the beholder. Art lives among us in many forms, so why not an ordinary rock that is transformed into a more formal item.?
BlastedArts.com first began with a sandblasting box, an air compressor and a pressure pot. Art created with Computer Aided Design or CAD. Any text or art is loaded into the program which arranges the image, takes the design to 2-D, then vectorizes the art so that a plotter printer can read the product and cut a vinyl mask of the design. The vinyl mask can be applied to many surfaces including wood, metal, tile, glass, plastic as well as rock and stone. The sticky vinyl mask is used to allow the abrasive (sand) carve the desired areas and protect the rest of the item from the blasting process. This same process is also used for sign making, car wrapping and T Shirt transfers, to name a few. Sandblasting with a pressure pot and an air compressor has too many applications to list, but does include stripping paint from cars and houses, removing graffiti, finishing concrete and making tombstones.
BlastedArts.com's original intention was to carve custom items like wine glasses, bottles, rocks with names on them, address markers or wedding gifts like cutting boards or silver platters. This format proved too complicated and was for the most part abandoned.
Our first gig was the Minturn Market, an Artisan market located in the little mountain town of Minturn, Colorado outside of Vail, CO. Custom items are very hard to sell at a market. It required too many samples, too much time and an absolute workout to load and unload the products. Over time we stopped bringing the wood items, then the metal items, then the glass was just getting broken with the rocks and the tile was fragile as well. In the end, a couple of our popular collections that sold at the market the most became the only items that we looked forward to selling and working with. These were the sandblasted rocks. While we still will design and create custom items in glass, metal wood and tile for anyone that wants these items, we just didn't feature anything but the rocks for now.
After carving thousands of items we learned more about design and art that would work and also learned what didn't work, or didn't sell. In time and experience we fell in love with some of our art and design successes and duplicated them to add them to a "Collection". We try to find similar sized and shaped rocks for a uniform project, but this is not always possible. We collected rocks with permission from the Rolling J Ranch in Leadville, CO as well as the Edwards Spur Road project in Edwards, CO. To our amazement there was a basic uniform consistency to the type of rock from each property and the sizes and shapes almost repeated as a pattern.
Rocks from the Rolling J which is located at the headwaters of the Arkansas River were multicolored by layers beginning in a beige, green, blue and most of the rocks contained flecks or chunks of gold Pyrite that glimmered when sunshine would contact them. Rocks from the Edwards Spur Road project were frequently red sandstone, black onyx type stone and some brown and gray rocks that were pretty, but wouldn't carve.
Sandblasting can be done on a multitude of surfaces that include glass, wood, metal, rock and tile, however each surface requires a different type of abrasive (sand) and requires changing the pressure used to blast the abrasive and a different thickness and tack to the vinyl used to stencil the art.
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Please email blastedarts.com, text 70-306-31214 or contact 970 306-3121
Each rock or stone is harvested from the Edwards Spur Road project or from the RJR Ranch at the headwaters of the Arkansas River. Rocks from ESR are red sandstone and a black smooth rock. Rocks from RJR are multi colored with a cream colored outside that has layers of green and brown.
Finding the ideal rock is a combination of selecting the size, shape and geological make up of the rock for the ability to carve it. Rocks collected in Eagle, Lake and Pitkin Counties frequently have veins of gold pyrite and gold flecks throughout the surface and body of the stone. While red sandstone rocks carve beautifully, granite barely carves at all. Each rock needs to be carved on a smooth surface preferably where the rock can stand up naturally on it's own. The size and shape of the art and text must match the shape of the rock to compliment both the rock and the art.
Art and text are arranged in a CAD program called Dragon Cut. A plotter printer with a cutting blade reads the computer art and cuts the design onto a sticky vinyl mask.
Art and text are arranged in a Computer Assisted Design program.
The set up used for rocks can be used for wood, metal, glass as well as other surfaces. The process is different for each as glass requires a lower pressure and 180 grit sand media and wood and metal particles get mixed into the sand while blasting and the sand can't be reused. By focusing on rock and stone, the abrasive media can be recycled a dozen times and the machine pressure doesn't have to be adjusted.
Glass, wood and metal projects are still available on a custom basis by order. Please contact us for information and pricing.
Rocks are a perfect decoration for gardens, yards, tabletops, or anything that your imagination can dream up. Select a rock from our collection or tell us what you need your rock to say or do.
The Minturn Market is a local Farmers and Crafts market located in Minturn, Colorado. Minturn is close to Vail, CO and is a popular town that keeps a small mountain town feel with artsy homes, businesses, restaurants and people. The Minturn Market takes place every Saturday from 9-2pm and draws an enormous amount of visitors. While the market is over for 2019, please visit our items at Alpine Ambiance in the Riverwalk Edwards.