Thursday, 20 February 2014

Lichen on glassfibre

Searching for ‘lichen on glassfibre’ on the internet brings up a large number of sites suggesting methods for the removal of lichens.   I want the opposite.   Over the twenty or so years since our house was built an increasing number of lichens have attached themselves to a lead-effect glassfibre canopy. 

Lichen on glassfibre lead-effect roof canopy

I want those same lichens to attach themselves to glassfibre rocks.   It’s said that a rolling stone gathers no moss.   It can also be said that a roving stone gathers no lichen (I can only roll a small number of the artificial rocks due to their shape).  

The artificial rocks used for temporary hire work are constantly being handled and repositioned and as such the same side of the rock isn’t always in the same position.   Lichens need light and moisture and on a roving rock they aren’t going to get it all the time.   I could always leave some of the artificial rocks in the same position for ten or so years and see what happens.   That could be limiting for business, however.

In my earlier post about the Australian landscape at the British Museum, Alan Bishop has painted lichen on to his rocks and that may be the way for me to go.   The painted-on lichen looks real from a distance but as my rocks are seen close up I need to make sure that any fake lichen looks very natural.   Dave The Dead has succeeded in doing that here: Grim Visions and a similar technique has also been used in Hobbiton, the Hobbit film set in New Zealand.  I may try Dave’s method when I have some spare time.

Artificial rocks, moss and cobbles

Moss is far easier to obtain in its artificial form.   It can be purchased in sheets for draping over surfaces or attached to artificial stones.   You can see some moss-covered stones here:

Read more about lichens here:

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Rocks u like

It should really say Fake Rocks I Like but it doesn't have that familiar ring about it.   Most of the rocks are bespoke items made in polystyrene for film, TV and temporary display use.   Some are moulded from real rocks, some patiently created by hand.

This has to be my favourite:

Aden Hynes' dry stone wall.        
See the construction of the rocks here:

Aden Hynes: steel stand surrounded by sculptured polystyrene rocks.

Standing stone flints by Newport based Icon&Co

Mine rocks by Icon&Co

Available on eBay: Mesa Bubbling Rock Water Pond Feature Faux Rock Boulder

I have no opinion on that.

Friday, 7 February 2014


I found out about ISSUU.COM on Ken Smith's site.   Highly recommended for publishing information about your services.

Artificial landscaping on roof garden at MOMA

Internationally acclaimed architect Ken Smith was the recipient of the 2011 Christian Petersen Design Award presented by the Iowa State University College of Design.   He is well known for his work on the Roof Garden of New York's Museum of Modern Art, which consists of white gravel, recycled black rubber, crushed glass, sculptural stones and artificial boxwood plants arranged in a camouflage pattern.  Load conditions and maintenance considerations led to the use of recycled materials, maintenance free shrubs and the lightweight rocks.   See if you can see which rocks are the same.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Australian landscape at the British museum.

In 2011, the British museum, in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, commission an Australian themed installation in the forecourt by the main entrance.   The installation allowed visitors to take a journey across the whole continent, from eastern Australia’s coastal habitat, through the arid red centre, to the western Australian granite outcrop featuring unique and highly endangered plants. The landscape showcased the rich biodiversity of Australia, and how these fragile systems are under threat from land usage and climate change.

A selection of the indigenous flora in the museum's temporary landscape are utilised in the cut flower trade and species such as Banksia, Anigozanthos and Allocasuarina are gradually replacing familiar flowers such as lilies, gladioli and carnations.

In order to fully immerse visitors in the outback experience, Alan Bishop created life-sized granite boulders using images taken by the British Museum team on a research trip.    You can take a look at the rocks and garden being created in the British Museum's photostream here: and see other images and a video at Alan bishop's site.

Alan Bishop's granite rocks based on the granite rocks below

The Australian landscape was displayed for almost six months with the plants and rocks finally removed in October 2011.    For less (semi) permanent displays, lightweight rocks can be hired from

Lightweight artificial granite rocks