WHEN TALENTED PROFESSIONALS TALK, WE LISTEN.
ADMIT IT, YOU HAVE AN INQUIRING MIND, AND YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE TEAM designing YOUR SUN VALLEY DREAM HOME. WE UNDERSTAND THE INCLINATION. SO WE DECIDED TO BRING YOU SHOP TALK, CONVERSATIONS WITH THE TALENTED PROS DESIGNING, BUILDING, OUTFITTING YOUR HOMES AND THOSE WHO OFFER OPTIONS FOR WORK SPACES OUTSIDE YOUR HOME.
Jonathan Nasvik, Decorative Concrete Artist
Jonathan Nasvik is the sole owner and operator of Cliffhangers, Inc., a decorative concrete contracting business that specializes in using cement products artfully. Over the years, Cliffhangers has been involved in innovating and installing notable commercial projects including Disney’s Epcot Resort in Florida, the Grand Wailea Resort in Maui, the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, and Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rainer National Park, respectively in Wyoming and Washington. For over 30 years, he’s immersed himself in a vast array of decorative concrete requests from local owners, architects, and designers.
What kinds of work does Cliffhangers do?
I create and install one-of-a-kind concrete features like countertops, sinks, fireplaces, floors, walls, and waterfalls.
What geographic regions do you serve?
Although I’ve done commercial work from coast to coast and beyond, our residential business is focused on serving the Wood River Valley.
Describe your educational and professional background.
I’ve been working with concrete since around 1966 when my older brother helped me get a part-time job on a crew he worked on. Almost all of my experience has been focused on what I’d consider “decorative.” I went to art school, and it turns out concrete is well suited to fine art. Recently, I’ve been applying a lot of those fine art lessons I learned back in school to my decorative concrete work. Fine art is my passion, and I expect my work to continue to evolve in that direction over the next few years.
What are you working on right now?
Currently, I’m excited about sculpting a dozen concrete aspen trees that will be installed like a screen in the entrance of a contemporary home in Sun Valley. Lloyd Construction is in the process of building the house and I’m looking forward to installing my trees and seeing them in the finished home.
What’s your process like with new clients?
I’m introduced to clients, architects, and designers mostly through local contractors. I show them pictures of my work that relates to what they are interested in and then I usually follow up with samples. We communicate the vision for the project so that when they are ready for me to start, I can jump right in.
What’s your favorite part about your work?
The most rewarding thing about my work is enjoying the people I work with and accomplishing the intended goal upon completing the project. I enjoy working with concrete because it’s an incredibly versatile medium. I can’t think of another building material that has so many different functional and aesthetic applications.
How long have you been a local?
I moved to the Wood River Valley in 1981. I travelled for work throughout that decade. In 1991, I set up Cliffhangers. One job led to another until word of mouth effectively filled my schedule.
What makes a good home?
I think a home should express those who live in it. Since I’m a creative personality, I actively express myself at home. The fine art I display is my own. It’s always been that way for me. I love art and enjoy seeing how others apply it. I visit museums and galleries and pay close attention to artwork when I’m visiting other people’s homes.
What makes you laugh?
I have a tendency to laugh—or at least chuckle—easily. Jokes, awkward moments, funny expressions, recalling silly experiences, ironic situations, disastrous outcomes, or painfully frustrating circumstances like getting stuck in traffic when I need to be somewhere on time are all things that will elicit a laugh or at least some type of amiable response depending on the situation. It’s easier to laugh and it mostly comes naturally to me. When I analyze it more, there is good therapy in keeping darker thoughts out with humor.
What’s your favorite vacation?
A great getaway is anywhere there isn’t ever-present technology. My wife and I walk the dogs almost daily, which gives us at least an hour or more of no interruptions. A vacation like the one I recently took in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Reserve in northern Minnesota offered five days of natural peace. It was a great opportunity to reset.
What’s one of your wishes?
Just one wish—save the planet.
Probably spring. It’s always amazing witnessing the rebirth of life.
What do you love most about calling Sun Valley home?
I enjoy living and working in this community. Everything is a short distance away, which builds connection. Speaking generally, people here have good energy and kind spirits. There have been great opportunities here for my work and I feel appreciated for it.