Cheg Concrete awarded Best in Show in its fifth annual Circle of Distinction Design Challenge to Keelin Kennedy and her Chicago-based firm, Barefoot Design.
Kennedy won for her "Carder Table," a dining-room tabletop that features a ribbon of sassafras wood running through the center of the concrete.
At an awards announcement held at the 2009 World of Concrete show in Las Vegas, Cheng Concrete founder Fu-Tung Cheng praised the piece's simplicity and beauty. "The craftsmanship is very elegant," he said. "It's letting the natural element come out. And the concrete is actually just acting as a foil for the log. It's not trying to dominate it. It's not trying to supplant it. It's yielding to the wood. It's such a nice contradiction it's almost like stone and wood. It reminds me of how the Japanese use wood and meld it with stone for foundation work and such."
Cheng was one of three judges of the contest, along with interior designers MaryJo Camp, CKD, CBD, CID, and Lilley Yee, CKD, CBD, CID, ASID. The panel awarded Best in Category and Honorable Mention distinctions in 12 categories.
Each qualifying entrant in the contest was a member of the Cheng Concrete Exchange, a resource group for concrete countertop crafters. There were 143 entries in this year's contest.