I've been extremely interested in taking in as much information over the last few years as it pertains to working with mortar and/or concrete as it pertains to building faux rock. In my quest for information I first found the DVDs by JPJ Technologies. I think I purchased these about 5 years ago.
The information contained in the DVD is very thorough, and you get to view several projects in the works, and see lots of tips and tricks in the industry. There is a wealth of information to be learned here. Many methods of texturing, mix designs, painting. Quite honestly, I can't think of anything that was left out of this DVD collection. I think the purchase price at the time was just under $600. These are not high quality DVDs however, but I do belive the infomraiton contained within those DVDs is all original information. I did receive a nice DVD full of mix designs and necessary materials. It was a very well thought out project. My only wish was the DVD quality was better and the amount of material could have been edited out as to not watch to much work. One DVD would have been sufficient in "watching" a lot of work as opposed to teaching a skill.
The Urban Craftsman DVDs: This was my dilemma. I was doing so much internet surfing a few weeks ago. I found both the Vertical Artisans website and the UrbanCraftsman website. I compared the cost of the DVDs vs the subscription. I was having trouble with Nate's website (trying to get the promo code). Later I would find out Nate was in Canada working on his four season room project.
At any rate, I purchased the DVDs from Urbancraftsman. To my satisfaction, the DVDs were shipped the next day. I started watching them the same day. My honest opinion on the DVDs was I had wished I had saved my money and applied it to the subscription to the Vertical Artisans Website. The video quality is not great...in the defense, I was warned abou this pre-purchase. My main interest was in learning "secrets." and advances in the trade. I thought in the DVD I was watching someone struggle over a job that was turning bad. The carving in the DVD was so "forced." I'm a novice and I could see there was either too much mortar applied to the surface that the worker could not keep up, or perhaps they waited too long to start the carving...I never heard anything mentioned of the fact to why the carving was so difficult. I realize this happens, but thought there should be some explanation.
The UrbanCraftsman says that people enjoy the true aspect of his DVDs...the fact of "watching him work" for real time feel of the job. I'm a quick learner and did not really like watching so long. There was too much "real work" and not enough information. I was disappointed unfortunatley, hoping I may see real work and learning.
Vertical Artisans Subscription:
It should come as no surprise to those others that are already subscribers of Nate's Vertical Artisans website. The videos are full of information and Nate is obvious an artist. I think this is what I have enjoyed mostly about his subscription site...watching an artist. I was shocked to find the same mix design on the Vertical Artisan subscription site as what is being offered by the UrbanCrafsman. For those of you that are subscribers, please find the this mix under "Industry secrets" in the news section (funny it has the most hits). I feel like I paid for the Urban Craftman DVD's for a mix design that I should have gotten from this subcription instead. Nate is a good enough teacher that sometimes his students try to become teachers themselves.
I'm extremely happy with the subscription and have have nothing bad to say. There are so many videos which make the cost such a bargain, and to watch someone work that truly enjoys what they are doing is such a rarity.
If you are ever looking for a suggestion, please consider the Vertical Artisan website subscription before the others. Nate wants you to succeed and it is obvious in his work and teachings. I got to see lots of real work and teaching at the same time...his video editing is great.
Keith Tutor DVDS's:
I decided to add this as well at the last minute. What can I say, I love the professional quality of these DVDs. They are inexpensive and full of information. Again, here I am watching an artist at work. Someone who loves to his talent to replicate nature. He does an awesome job. DVD's are full of technique and great work...definitely worth the money. His DVDs are not just about making rocks...there are about making rocks that work in the environment. Placement, size, texture...it is all covered.
I hope this is helpful to someone out there.
I can't hardly rate them in any order as they all have their strengths...but if I had to rate them , I'd at least say I learned the least from the UrbanCraftsman DVDs. I think it is worth the extra expense to get the subscription and learn from a great teacher.