David Mitchell—one of the twelve presenters participating in this year's Artistry in Decorative Concrete demonstrations—started Pure Texture Inc. four years ago. In that span of time, his company has built a reputation for creating beautiful, dramatic effects on a range of surfaces. Following are his thoughts on the industry.
Question: How did you get into the decorative field?
Answer: It actually started as a spinoff of a high-end landscaping company I had. It ended up being a great addition.
Question: What do you enjoy most about your work?
Answer: I'm very fortunate to have customers who respect my reputation enough to trust me in guiding them to making tasteful decisions about their projects, therefore allowing me to be creative and have fun.
Question: Tell us about one of your favorite projects.
Answer: I'm really pleased with Hooligans in Jacksonville, N.C., where we did a blend of different textures, troweled together to create a sort of stormy gray-sky look. I also liked Ballyhoo's of Emerald Isle, N.C.; that featured contemporary-design flooring, and one of my favorite countertops ever.
Question: Do you have any advice for someone just starting out in decorative, or considering jumping into it?
Answer: I think my biggest advice is to receive proper training from a company that has your style in mind. Look at photo albums of finished work to understand what's possible with different styles. Realistic finishes, for me, have been a key to my success. Stone must appear to be a stone, therefore unique in its color, size, etc.
Question: How do you feel the decorative industry changed in recent years?
Answer: I see a lot of dyes and very bold colors. I personally do not pursue those—I focus on the manipulation of the concrete to receive my coloring techniques, and I lean towards earth tones, and blending and melding of several colors. I like seeing natural reactions between the colors or stains and the concrete.
Question: Finally, what's your dream job?
Answer: Next stop? Oprah, I have the best idea for your driveway, if you're listening.
The sixth annual Artistry in Decorative Concrete demonstrations—presented by Concrete Construction magazine—take place in the the Silver Lot outside the Convention Center during exhibit hours through Thursday. The presenters' masterpieces will remain on display on Friday. For more information, visit your Program & Exhibits guide.