Fabien Mené, a French native and art collector, never thought he’d find himself working in decorative concrete. It all started after studying art at the Charles de Gaulle University — Lille III. The idea of creating stenciled tables came to him after making bar counters in a class and wondering if he could add a stencil to the bottom of a casing.
For a man who’s been into concrete as far back as he can remember, the business has changed a lot since he ran Carl Concrete Construction in Greensboro, North Carolina. Now co-owner of Spirit Stone, Bill Carl has moved away from the traditional uses of concrete to its more artistic side.
“Graceful Curves.” That’s what Scott Cohen and his team at Green Scene Landscaping and Swimming Pools call a recent backyard masterpiece in Malibu, California. Cohen describes it as the ultimate entertaining backyard that has everything and then some — including a pool that makes you feel like you’re in a giant lake.
Concrete Decor Show pro bono endeavors brighten stay for families of the ailing
At the seventh annual Concrete Decor Show in San Diego, California, world-class instructors and eager students from around the globe joined their talents and enthusiasm to breathe new life into the outdoor surroundings of the Bannister Family House, which provides a home-like environment for people with family members in long-term or critical care at the nearby UC San Diego Health.
Avoiding certain pitfalls can mean the difference between a struggling hobby and a thriving business. When it comes to countertops, here are a few of the most common mistakes we at the Concrete Countertop Institute think are the biggest stumbling blocks for aspiring concrete countertop contractors.
In 2015, homeowners who had traveled throughout Italy contacted Darryl Bates of Excalibur Surfaces in Simi Valley, California, about wanting Old World-style concrete countertops that looked like the Italian granite they had admired on their trip. Using products purchased through StoneCrete’s Ashby System, Excalibur delivered 52 square feet and 1,660 pounds of beautiful 2-inch-thick countertops in three sections that look as if they were hewn from a cliff.
Ben Ashby, 53, got an early education in concrete from a father who he says was “stubborn as a mule and tough as nails,” but who also provided the young Ashby with the drive and motivation to succeed. His father, who recently passed away last December, was an “old school” concrete worker who taught hard work. “I remember my first day on the job because I was 5 years old carrying around a 4-foot level,” Ashby says. “I don’t think he actually used the level I was carrying around but it gave me something to do and my father wanted me to do it because that’s how you learn to work hard.”
A handcrafted 5,900-square-foot meandering river scene incorporated into the building’s polished concrete floor before the building was constructed. Womack also manufactured and installed three different versions of concrete countertops, and finished the exterior concrete with custom pattern mats and a unique stain.
Ocean of Life
Art project is concrete symbol of new beginnings