The idea for Robert Chaney’s demo came from one of the components of the cement hydration process—jennite. He decided to show what the molecular structure of the crystal looked like on a polished concrete slab.

Chaney joined the Artistry group of volunteers the week before the show started to help form, place, and finish the concrete slabs for the presenters. His concrete pad was struck off 1 inch below the top of the form. He inserted curved aluminum divider strips into the fresh concrete, mixed black integral-colored concrete and placed it on one side of the dividers, placing uncolored concrete on the other side. Next he embedded computer chips, colored disks, and aluminum plate to provide the rest of the microscopic image. When the show started four days after the concrete was placed, he began the diamond polishing process, working with handheld grinders and a large diamond floor polishing machine to achieve the final look.

Chaney’s project was challenging because many different materials were used to illustrate the graphic. Keeping everything in place during the polishing process turned out to be difficult.

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