Passionate About Concrete
2007 World of Concrete the Artistry Demos were a “must see” for guests interested in decorative concrete
Source: CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION MAGAZINE
Publication date: April 1, 2007
Scott Hogue, Artistic Concrete Surfaces, Spokane,
Wash. and Dave Blasdell, Blazes Concrete Impressions,
Hogue and Blasdell built a bar that would be found near a swimming pool. It featured a concrete countertop and vertical
overlay cement to create a bamboo roof and simulated rock panels—even barnacles shown on the lower left. Photo: Joe
Hogue and Blasdell don't work together on contracted projects but they team up to provide training for contractors
in the northwest and both of them love to do themed concrete work. Hogue says they don't perform a lot of this work but
are marketing to clients to do more. Both companies install concrete countertops on a regular basis. He adds that people consider
themed work around swimming pools, barbecue pits, or alongside lakes.
Their work at the Artistry Demos was ambitious. When their 10x10-foot pad was cast before the show started,
they were present to form and cast a step riser integral with their slab. Then they built a bar cabinet on the upper riser
area using a variety of products and techniques to complete their work. This included casting a concrete counter-top, using
overlay cement to cast a roof over the bar carved and stamped to resemble bamboo, casting concrete to look like barnacles,
and coloring with chemical and water-based stains.
Made in China
World of Concrete artists take their talent overseas
Source: Concrete Construction Online
Publication date: August 16, 2007
In 2005, Scott Hogue and Dave Blasdel were part of a
group of concrete finishers who took their passion for decorative concrete to China.
The job consisted
of microtopping and stenciling for a new performing arts center in a small town 30 miles north of Beijing. But
what makes this job different was its size. The work involved multiple passes over 80,000 square feet of concrete.
arts center is part of an ambitious entertainment complex modeled after Beijing's Forbidden City.
However, this version–measuring 2 to 3 square miles in size–will include a waterpark, a golf course, bowling alleys,
hotels, and other amenities to take advantage of the expected boom in tourism surrounding the 2008 Summer Olympics.
crew started on the main floor of the performing arts center, building off a hard-troweled concrete surface, measuring about
60,000 square feet. The crew put down Brickform's Micro-Topping, a polymer-modified cementitious overlay. The first pass
was a rough coat, followed by two smooth coats.
"Because supplies were difficult to obtain, we had to hand
trowel to entire thing, instead of using typical squeegee techniques," Hogue said.
The size of the job also
required that they work from side to side on the big open floor. Each pass, integrally colored red, had a thickness of
1/4 to 3/16 of an inch.
"We were really
cranking," Hogue said. "Sometimes we got as much as 36,000 square feet done in a day. Though, sometimes we ran out
of microtopping before the end of the day, and had to wait until more of it cleared customs."
Hogue also said the Chinese were amazed at the size of the trowels the crew used.
"We had standard 20-inch Marshalltown trowels, but the Chinese normally used only 8-inch trowels. They
did say, though, that their smaller tools gave them bigger muscles."
In addition, the Chinese don't work on their knees. They squat, Blasdel said.
After the microtopping was put down, the client asked that they
polish the surface. "However, the only tool we could find in town was a 20-inch polisher. That part of the job took a
week," he said.
After wet polishing the
surface down to a 600 grit, they laid out a large design at the center of the floor with stencils, followed by coloring with
Brickform's opaque cementitious colorant, Cem-Coat.
Another part of the job included resurfacing a concrete deck area on the roof, called the Air Garden, also done with microtopping, and some acid staining. Here they cut a compass rose measuring almost 50 feet across
using a Mongoose engraving machine from Engrave-A-Crete.
In all, the crew of five took 30 days to complete the work. "We were either working flat out, as fast as we could,
or sitting around and waiting," Hogue said.
many ways, it was like working at home; our biggest challenge was working around other trades. But, the difficulties with
customs and the lack of many other supplies were problems. We had to make do with what we had. It gives me a better appreciation
for what we have here," he said. "But, it was still a lot of fun. I'd go back again."
"Culturally, it was very different," Blasdel said. "Now
that we know what to expect, there are so many things we can teach them."
Hogue, a fifth-generation concrete finisher from Spokane, Wash., owns
Artistic Concrete Surfaces. Blasdel owns Blaze's Concrete Impressions in Kalispell, Mont. Their
work at this year's Artistry in Decorative Concrete in Las Vegas at World of Concrete was memorable.
They built a concrete tiki bar, complete with bamboo and barnacles.