Power Tools Used to Carve Concrete Mural at Trade-show Booth

Steven Ochs at Bosch booth with his concrete mural

Anyone visiting the Bosch Tool outdoor booth at World of Concrete 2011 could not have missed this tool-carved decorative concrete work created by Steven Ochs and Gerald Taylor. (That’s Steven posing next to the mural above and Gerald doing some artistic drilling in the photo below.)

Watch a Youtube time-lapse video of the project coming together.

Gerald Taylor drills into the concrete to create the concrete mural.

A close-up look at the art created by Ochs and Taylor.

The design on the concrete.

A look at the finished mural that was stained and carved into concrete.

Want to know more about how these DC veterans got hooked up with this high-profile project? As you might expect at WOC, it all started with a referral to Bosch reps by Joe Nasvik of Concrete Construction magazine, whose publisher hosts the event. Let’s let Steven himself tell the rest of the story.

Steven says: Gerald Taylor and I were contacted by Matt Van and Kevin Enke of Robert Bosch Tool Corp. They wanted an artist demonstration that would create an aesthetic excitement and utilize as many of their tools as possible during the 2011 World of Concrete in Vegas.

In the past eight years, all of our work has consisted of flat-surface scoring and illustration. We were reluctant to say yes due to the fact that we had never carved concrete in high-relief sculpture before. To be honest, we actually said “no thank you.” I’ve always believed that experimentation should be conducted in the privacy of your own home and not in front of thousands of people from around the world. By not excepting our response, Mr. Enke provided us the tools they wanted us to showcase and after a short time of chipping, grinding and cutting on Gerald’s driveway, we felt very much at ease and confident to comment.

Once I began the research into the 125-year history of Bosch, I became very excited and corresponded via email with Mr. Enke on concepts and designs until a final draft was approved. A pattern was created by a 48’ wide inkjet printer and all the color stains and metallic pigments were provided by Chuck Brunner of Smith Paints in Harrisburg, PA. The pattern saved us some precious time and the vibrant color added an emotional impact to the finished project.

We ended up using at least five different tools with more than six different accessories. The one I became most personal with was a large rotary hammer (RH328VC). The chips flew for nearly five hours nonstop to achieve the depth of the snow-capped mountains. Although the hammer was high-tech and powerful, I was able to obtain the same control and finesse as if I was hand-carving stone with traditional sculpting tools. Gerald’s favorite tool was the 18-volt lithium-ion cordless grinder with the turbo rim diamond abrasive blade. It was so smooth, he told me, and worrying about a cord is no longer an issue.

As a finishing touch and just for fun, we photographed the labels on these specialty blades, printed them to scale on glossy paper, and attached them to concrete for an added “fool-the-eye” effect.

Even though this experience was only a two-day demo, we truly enjoyed the challenge of branching out into an old technique with new tools. We are also looking forward to working in this process again and with our new friends at Bosch.

Project at a Glance

Client: Robert Bosch Tool Corp., Mt. Prospect, Ill.

Artisans: Steven Ochs, professor of Art at Southern Arkansas University

Gerald Taylor, Images in Concrete, Eldorado, Arkansas | www.imagesinconcrete.com

Designer: Steven Ochs

Scope of project: 5 feet by 5 feet, approximately 8 inches thick.

Duration of project: Two weeks of research, sketches, and corresponding emails with Kevin Enke, Bosch marketing and packaging director. Then, two days on-site during the 2011 World of Concrete, Las Vegas Convention Center.

Materials supplier: Tools and accessories provided by Bosch; Smith Paints water-based concrete stains, including metallic silver and gold.

Tools used: A variety of Bosch power tools: hammer drills, cordless rotary hammers, concrete surface grinders, Lithium-ion cordless angle grinder, dust extraction system. Accessories: segmented rim diamond abrasive blade, turbo rim diamond abrasive blade, diamond cup wheel, hammer steel chisels, and carbide hammer bits.

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