For the second year, students from CIM—an undergraduate college degree program that prepares students for work in the concrete industry—presented at the Artistry demos. The idea for this year’s demo came from a partnership between the Chico CIM program and the National Park Service (NPS), which restored Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. Chico’s CIM field school program engages students in evaluating, estimating, repairing, and preserving concrete structures. They work with leading industry experts who regularly volunteer their time as program trainers.

Shellie Rigsby, Mike Eastergard, and Nathan Giffin served as volunteer advisers for the Artistry demo. Jason Hagin, an NPS historical architect, also assisted. Nine CIM students worked on the two lighthouse re-creations; one for the demo and one for the CIM auction.

They started with a cementitious bond coat application using a hopper gun as a base coat on the polystyrene forms that provided a rough shape. This was followed by a second application of vertical overlay material mixed with finer aggregate to permit greater detail. Students used carving tools and margin trowels to better define the shape of each segment of the lighthouse, checking their work against photos of the real structure.

With most of the detail work complete, the sections of the lighthouses were joined together and detailed to remove the joints from view. The final step involved coloring the work to resemble the original lighthouse with all the streaking and colorations provided by time. The support pad holding the lighthouses erect held pieces of concrete from the Alcatraz prison building.

View the other 2011 Artistry in Decorative Concrete participants and projects.