From countertops to molded trees, this year's artists in the Artistry in Decorative Concrete area demonstrated the best of the best in the decorative concrete industry. Hailing from around the country, they presented a variety of projects?including a number of floor concepts, decorative outdoor installations, furniture, and more?that not only inspire but push the boundaries of this field. Staining, molding, sculpting, stenciling, and careful dye work were just a few of the innovative techniques used by these artisans.

If you haven't already gotten the chance to see these works up close and personal, take an opportunity to make it to the Silver Lot before you leave the show today. Not able to attend the show this year? Don't worry. CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION will feature these demonstrations in the April issue, as well post in-depth slideshows at

CIM Schools
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro Tenn.
California State University, Chico
Seven CIM students assisted in creating a memorial to the 32 firefighters from New York City's Battalion 9 Firehouse at 48th Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan. The names of those who died will be inscribed on one of the two 10-foot-tall GFRC towers.

Mike Meredith
Arizona Falls, Las Vegas
Inspired by a trip to the Halloween store, Mike Meredith created his own chain link and skull molds to make this outdoor kitchen. Concrete was poured into a melamine form to create the core of the structure and countertops set on top. Also featuring a grill, table with umbrella, and stool, the work was stained using a spray gun.

Pablo Johnson
Mozell by Design, Seattle
Levi Knox of SubQ Artistic Concrete, Kansas City, Mo., assures us that no paint was involved in this stenciled floor. Instead, concrete artist Johnson troweled on a water-based microfinish that can be mixed with a variety of tints (Skimstone by Rudd Co. Inc., Seattle). "That's how you get your translucent color shining through," says Levi, who helped Johnson bring the design to life.

Troy Lemon
Cornerstone Decorative Concrete, Fennville, Mich.
This fireplace, by Lemon, features handcarved stone, stamped brick, and a matte stained floor. The carving process involved using layers of concrete that Lemon molded into place to create dimension and depth. After carving natural looking stone into the concrete, various colors were used to create a multihued wall.

Chris Swanson
Colour, Rescue, Calif.
Winner of Concrete Construction's Decorative Project of the Year, Swanson showcased his unique acid etching and staining techniques to depict a unique cross design. With Swanson, it's all in the details. He first spent time carefully drawing out the design and then engraved the work. Dyes were faded together to create a vivid work of art.

Nick Relampagos
It's Concrete, Hayword, Calif.
Made with glass-fiber reinforced concrete, this chair features a radiant heating strip down the middle. Relampagos created a mold for the sweeping lines of the chair and used glass fibers in the concrete mix to create a functional piece of art.

Rachel Bruce
Floormap Stencil Designs, Springdale, Ariz.
At the time this photo was taken, Bruce was busy fielding questions from visitors on how she is using vinyl stencils and solvent-based colors to create an earth-friendly globe design.

Gary Hayden
Prehistoric Tops and Custom Hardscapes, Grand Junction, Colo.
"This event has changed my life," says Hayden. "I've already gotten work offers from companies in Australia and Mexico." To create this pool table theme, Hayden etched into the concrete, then applied an overlay. He used acrylic for the balls, acid stain for the middle of the slab, and a dye and sealer for the edges.

Kenneth "Gene" Dean Jr.
Dean's Concrete Service, Greenwood, Ind.
"I wanted to show people that anybody can do this," says Dean. For his creation, inspired by 1970's rock band Pink Floyd, Dean used Elite Crete System's Reflector Enhancer-a powder that he mixed with clear epoxy to achieve both translucent as well as opaque colors. "You can do some really artistic stuff with this. Any contractor can buy this product and do it themselves."

Chuck Curtis
Quick Creations Construction Gone Wild, Lincoln, Calif.
It took Curtis and his crew 3 1/2 to 4 hours to handcarve this tree nymph into her concrete tree. Curtis also used stamped concrete for the edges of his slab, creating realistic wood planks, complete with bolts. He used Floric Polytech's Cemlogic MT-200 microtopping, which he says is normally not meant to be stamped. But he was able to put enough of the overlay down in order to stamp. For color, he used Smith Paints products: "I use them for everything, even walls."