Stevi Michner's background is interior design, but she became interested in the artistic possibilities that concrete offered and started Surface LLC to focus on both functional art and art pieces that she sells through her art gallery shop located in downtown Ann Arbor. She works with overlay cement, dyes, chemical- and water-based stains, and stencils. On the functional side, the focus of her work is artistic microtopped floors described as both artistic and organic, as well as overlay cement countertops—though she says she is moving toward full thickness countertops now.
At the Artistry demos, Michner decided to do a Japanese Kimono wall hanging. Work started by cutting out the basic shape in plywood and soaking material in a latex bonding agent. Next she fastened the wet material to the plywood, drying it with a heat gun. Two applications of overlay cement followed, sanded between coats, to get a 1/8-inch build up. Then she applied a stencil that provided the pattern for branches and cherry blossoms. Color added to additional overlay cement was then brushed into the stencil pattern, using her fingers to add texture to the branch areas. A solvent-based acrylic sealer provided the final luster. She added metallic powders to the sealer for the collar areas.
View other 2008 Artistry in Concrete Demos.