Crafted Landscapes have been producing original landscape creations for 30 years. Crafted Landscapes are well known for their intuitive design and style as well as for offering a wide range of skills including carpentry, building, dry stone walls and the use of innovative washed aggregate concrete finishes.
Phil Stray started out in his early years producing, amongst other things, variations on the humble sand pit, including rock formations and differing pit shapes for youngsters to play in.
Phil Stray describes his style generally as: ‘earthy in approach while having fun with design’. Ancient celtic art, mythology, symbolism and in particular the labyrinth - a highly complex symbol – all attract Phil Stray.
‘I just love the look of them, the feeling of them, the spiralling mandala (symbolic diagram) of them - any opportunity I have, I do a labyrinth’. ‘There is energy in spirals, maze patterns and labyrinths - I try to incorporate these into my landscape designs’.
Crafted Landscapes have worked on many varieties of projects, including residential gardens, schools and preschool play environments, child-friendly landscapes that incorporate unusual play areas created with a sense of whimsy and flair, but always blending harmoniously and integrally with its surroundings.
An example of this can be seen at Ruffey Lake Park, a landscape project completed around March 2008, created in conjunction with the City of Manningham, which artistically depicts three lizards; including a Gecko and a Skink as concrete relief interactive sculptures, while the other lizard, a Blue Tongue, was created in two dimensional mosaic and coloured concrete work.
For the sculptured concrete lizards as well as the surrounding graphics work, stairs and pebble mosaics, Ability Building Chemicals’ abilox colour pigments were utilised to colour and visually connect all of the elements. Phil Stray prefers Ability Building Chemicals’ abilox colour pigments, because he finds that particularly with the blacks, the colours are softer on the eye and exactly what he is looking for.
“We work hard to achieve an interesting finish. That’s where Ability comes in with its abilox colours. Their soft pastel colours are just what we want and in time, as they age, they just look better and better.”
Apart from the colour selection, Phil Stray is pleased with Ability Building Chemicals’ service; “they’re very helpful to deal with, they have all the range there for me to choose from, I can see what I want and it’s all done quickly. For most jobs I don’t have time to wait around so their efficiency is a credit to them.”