Some of the brightest, most creative concrete artists began working their craft in the 2009 Artistry in Decorative Concrete demonstrations.

One of the most popular features of World of Concrete, the annual demonstration brings together artists from across the globe, all working with a wide range of products. The demonstrations, which began Tuesday morning in the Silver Lot outside the South Hall, will continue today and Thursday. Then, the finished masterpieces will remain on display until the show closes Friday afternoon.

Among this year's craftsmen is Steve Conklin of One Day Floors in Eagle, Colo., who is demonstrating what can be done to pizzazz garage floors. He uses a polyaspartic polyurea sealer that can be installed down to -20° F with a minimum setting time of 15 minutes. The sealer can be used with decorative coatings and other decorative materials.

Not surprisingly, this show's artisans have years of unique experiences under their toolbelts. Concrete artist Richard Winget of Authentic Environments, Huntington Beach, Calif., has done work for Walt Disney and other movie production companies-including creating the ghost ship in the film [ITAL] Pirates of the Caribbean. He is constructing a textured concrete tree that is indistinguishable from real trees. Another concrete artisan with Hollywood experience is Mike Lookinland of Just Add Water, Salt Lake City. Perhaps best known as Bobby Brady in the television series [ITAL] The Brady Bunch, Lookinland spent the majority of his film career as a cameraman. Three years ago he made the transition to the more reality-based concrete realm and has now partnered with countertop specialist Paul Lundy of Concrete In Counters, Santa Clara, Utah, to showcase a countertop with mountainscape backsplash here at WOC. And with more than 30 years experience creating architectural rockface, Jon Nasvik of Cliffhangers Inc., Hailey, Idaho, learned his trade from a craftsman who did the rockwork for Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay, Fla. Nasvik, whose large-scale work can be seen at the Minnesota Zoo and the Mall of America in Minnesota, uses glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) casts to create boulders, cliffs, and rocky waterfalls.

Be sure to stop by the demonstrations today to watch the following concrete artists in action:

  • Ken Spears of Olsen Precast Co., Las Vegas, is using software to convert photos and graphics to a CNC router and carve the images into formliner material. When the sun reflects on the surface the image comes into view, then disappears again in the shade. See the faces of Marilyn Monroe and The Three Stooges come to life.
  • Oak Lawn, Ill.-based Peloza Construction's cantilevered concrete steps showcases Dave Peloza's technical skills in both forming and finishing.
  • If you can't make it out there today, stop by anytime for information and advice at the Ask the Expert booth, provided by the Decorative Concrete Council of the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC).The other artistry demonstration teams include:

  • Tony Baker, Century Construction, Columbia, S.C., and Kevin Percy, Percy Construction Design, Wrentham, Mass.
  • Joe Fettig, Jafco Concrete Inc., Newberg, Ore.
  • Cindee Lundin, Cindee's Custom Creations Inc., Perham, Minn.
  • Mark Marion, Concrete Perceptions, Ardmore, Okla.
  • Jennifer Reichert and Melissa Wagner, Interiors to Inspire, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
  • The Artistry in Decorative Concrete demonstrations are held each year to encourage the widespread use of decorative concrete techniques, and to educate attendees about the broad range of possibilities offered by the field. The event is sponsored by Concrete Construction magazine, the Decorative Concrete Council of the ASCC, and a variety of manufacturers that offer products used in decorative concrete.