Levi Susoev used masking tape to stencil the shapes then followed with solvent-based dyes, dry-pearl powders, and metallic and gold leafing.
Levi Susoev used masking tape to stencil the shapes then followed with solvent-based dyes, dry-pearl powders, and metallic and gold leafing.

Susoev farmed in California's Central Valley and worked at a variety of construction jobs for 10 years—always doing artwork on the side. Eight years ago, a friend gave him some decorative concrete materials to play with, and that became a career-changing moment. He quit his job, attended several decorative concrete classes, and 7 months later opened his own business. For his demo, Susoev created Mardi Gras masks. He started with a trowel-down application of white overlay cement. Using 1/8-and ½-inch-wide masking tape, he worked out his design. When he was satisfied with the shape, he marked it out with a pencil, removed the tape, and used a 4-inch diamond blade on an angle grinder to engrave the lines. Next, he masked out areas and used a variety of techniques and materials to color the work: solvent-based dyes, dry-pearl powders, and metallic and gold leafing. For the finishing step he applied a sealer to protect his images. Inspiration for creative expression can come from anywhere. Susoev says that the inspiration for this demo came to him while watching a food-channel presentation about sugar carvings.