Eight years ago, the editors of CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION thought it would be a good idea to highlight decorative concrete at the World of Concrete (WOC). Decorative concrete contractors from around the country were provided an opportunity to demonstrate the possibilities in this niche field. These live demos debuted at the WOC 2002 where the presenters were given two days to complete their work. On the third day of the demo, attendees could view the finished work.
Good program ideas usually have their day, fold their tents and disappear, and planners develop new ideas to attract people's interest. But interest in the Artistry in Decorative Concrete demos remains high and a new group of contractors will demonstrate their creativity and skills to visitors again. This year the focus will be highlighting the work these artists are known for in their local area.
Artistry will see all fresh faces because no contractor is invited to present more than once, thus pooling from the large group of creative contractors in the U.S. The goal of the demos is to encourage more decorative concrete and to inspire WOC attendees to be more creative in their own work.
Twelve demos will showcase 12 different contractors from all across the U.S. in the Silver Lot at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The presenters will begin their work on Tuesday morning at the show, unveiling their work to attendees on Thursday. When you walk through the area, you will be able to get close to the works in progress and be able to ask questions or share thoughts with the artists.
This year the demos will include engraved, dyed, and diamond-polished concrete by Colour, the company recognized by CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION as our Decorative Concrete Project of the Year. Other demos will include GFRC countertops and furniture, overlay cement, work with stencils, and vertical applications.
Something new added to the Artistry Demo area this year are tool demonstrations. Visitors will have the opportunity to try out the tools used by decorative contractors, including ones for handheld diamond polishing and curved engraving work, aftermarket coring bits for kitchen countertop work, and lithium-ion tools for installing wood forms. Contractor experts will be on hand to provide tips to help with your technique. Hopefully you will get the feel of newer tools than what you might be using at the present. There also will be tool experts from manufacturers to answer your questions about their products.
This year we've added even more to this outside demonstration area.
- If you are flooring contractor, you are probably aware that many big box owners now require their concrete floors to have gloss-meter readings of 40 or more to save electricity on lighting and to enhance the customers' experience. On Thursday in the Silver Lot, Rick Smith from Structural Services Inc., Richardson, Texas, will demonstrate how to accomplish this technique. Starting with a gloss reading of 9, Smith will increase the concrete finish to 45 in less than 1 hour.
- There will be a slab demonstrating how to measure moisture content in concrete. For the past several years, a number of methods have been developed to provide some indication of moisture in concrete. These methods will be displayed, including measuring relative humidity—the most accurate method developed to date.
- For the third year in a row, the American Society of Concrete Contractor's Decorative Concrete Council will sponsor an “Ask the Expert” booth as part of the Artistry demos. Decorative contractors will be on hand to answer your questions, discuss problems you may be experiencing with your work, or simply share ideas with you.
It's said that creative thought is the result of being inspired by others' creativity—one person's dream becomes the stepping stone for another's. Here's a chance for you to be captivated by ideas that will in turn encourage you to be more creative. Artistry in Decorative Concrete are held in the Decorative Pavilion of the Silver Lot.
Readers' Choice Winner
When CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION invited decorative contractors to submit their best projects for our annual Decorative Concrete Project of the Year contest (featured in the November 2009 issue), the editorial staff selected Flor De Vida, which represents great design and detailed craftsmanship by Colour, Rescue, Calif.
But judges sometimes look for things that are different than the general public so we invited readers to vote for their favorite project on our Web site. The project with the most votes was the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center, top, located in Las Vegas. The project's contractor was Armada Construction, Las Vegas. The project with the next most votes was Orlando-based Sea World Manta “Ride the Flying Ray,” constructed by Edwards Concrete Co. in Winter Park, Fla.