One of the greatest features of a Campania International piece is that each and every one is created by hand. This by-hand process goes from the concept of the design, to the creation of the mold, the cast stone pouring of the mold, the patina/finish that gets applied by hand, and even to the actual packaging for shipping. The entire Campania process is very artistic and technical. When considering this labor intensive, 15 step process, Campania has counted that your product can reach up to as many as 30 different pairs of hands.
The design process begins with the creation of an original piece by one of Campania's own designers or artists or starts with an antique that is then turned into an antique reproduction. The antiques themselves often require Campania to do a bit of their own restoration work in house by their very own craftsmen.
Once a design is complete, a piece then goes directly to the mold making department. Once here, a multi-step process begins to create a mold that can be used in production. This mold is extremely important because it helps duplicate the extra detailing and texture or an original design. It can take up to three months for a mold to be complete when a piece is very detailed. Often, over 700 molds are created by Campania each year.
Once a piece has completed its time in the mold department, it then moves to the production area where liquid cast stone is poured into the mold. Special techniques are used to remove any air bubbles so a piece is as pristine as can be. The PSI of the concrete is monitored for carefully by Campania to ensure durability and strength. The current PSI of the Campania products are engineered around 7500 PSI for optimal strength. Once completed, each piece is then air dried and de-molded by one of the production staff.
Once a piece completes its tour in the production department, it is then sent on to the finishing department. Here, all seams of pieces are ground and any air holes that may have been created during the pouring process are filled and smoothed to match the rest of the piece. After all pieces are done, they are then placed on a pallet and are taken into the warehouse for stocking. Each individual piece is stocked in the warehouse in a natural finish.
When a customer places an order for a piece, is is pulled from the warehouse in the natural cast stone. It is then taken to the finishing lines, where it is stained by hand. This makes each and every Campania International piece individual and unique. Depending on the finish, it can be required that three different color applications are completed to create Campania unique finishes. The patinas are applied using a finisher's skill by wiping away excess to make sure each and every detail is highlighted properly. This is not only a great technical skill but also a true artistic send.
Making a Statement with Fountains and Statuary
According to many manufacturers, the sales of garden statues and fountains are becoming increasingly popular for placement in home gardens.
Retailers have recognized the increase demand in outdoor garden goods. People now want to create their own personal living space outdoors. Retailers have responded by creating many different kinds of statues and water feature designs from the extremely traditional all the way to modern Zen-inspired pieces.
According to the National Gardening Survey, the purchasing of outdoor fountains and statuary have remained steady for over the past five years. The survey also concluded that almost 6 million households purchased water features or other garden accessories like statuary to add character to their gardens in 2005.
More time spent in the garden seems to translate into more dollars spend on the items that can make their outdoor living space more attractive to themselves as well as their guests and still be functional.
This truly is no surprise. The Creative Director of Campania International, Peter C. Cilio, states “This is a positive trend for us. The cast stone category continues to grow and in response to consumer demand, we’ve quadrupled our fountain offerings in the last five years and each year we continue to add new fountains to the category.”
He goes on to say that the continued growth can be attributed to Baby Boomers spending more time and money on their homes, whether it be indoors or out. He feels that consumers are much more knowledgeable these days about their own specific styles. The range of Campania's fountains can be seen in this fact. Campania International fountains range from classic European style to Asian influenced designs to sleeker, more modern styles.
“Homeowners think of their garden as extension of their indoor living space,” Cilio says. "They plan a nice landscape and do the plantings first. Once they get the bones of the garden established they wish to personalize the space with the addition of a fountain or statuary. Fountains are particularly appealing because they add an additional dimension of a water feature to the garden.”
Taking advantage of the many products on the market can be to your advantage. Not only do you want to be able to enjoy your own backyard, but you also want to provide a sanctuary that potential homeowners will also love and see themselves relaxing in.