Robert Berman & Monte Burch
Joe Nasvik Robert Berman & Monte Burch

Robert Berman and Monte Burch own the company together, doing general concrete work and decorative. They are careful to treat their customers well, answering every phone call and doing everything they promise to do—including being on the job when they say they will. Over the past year, they added a diamond polishing division, which is what they decided to focus on for their Artistry demo.

Their polished, engraved, and dye-stained rose piece comes with a story. Berman says that in ancient times, if there was a rose placed in front of a doorway it meant that there was a secret meeting in progress—the word “sub rosa” was coined to describe this. Polished concrete has a glass-reflecting appearance and roses often were depicted in stained-glass creations. So their rose for the demo would have a stained-glass appearance. Their message is “It's time to remove the rose from the front door, remove all the surface coverings from concrete—the beauty of concrete isn't a secret anymore—polished concrete is beautiful.”

They first ground their slab to a 40-grit finish, projected the image of the rose on the slab at night and traced it on the concrete. They then engraved the pattern into the surface using diamond saws and angle grinders, polished it to an 800-grit finish, colored the rose with nine different dye colors driven by acetone, polished the work to a 3000-grit finish, and finally sealed the surface with a penetrating sealer burnished with a strip pad imbedded with 3000-grit diamonds.

View other 2008 Artistry in Concrete Demos.