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Craftsmanship, gamesmanship prevail at Solomon Colors Fair

Some of the top artisans, cement masons and contractors who have helped drive concrete finishes and elements deeper into architecture, hardscapes and interiors over the past two decades convened last month for the Solomon Colors 2018 Decorative Concrete Fair. Staged near the host’s Springfield, Ill., headquarters, the three-day event spanned pattern stamping of integrally colored mixes; slab staining and finishing techniques; vertical surface carving and molding; and, countertop and outdoor fire table casting—all showcasing namesake, Brickform and Ultra Fiber brands.

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Tracy (above) and Krissi Musetti (below) held court at the Vertical Concrete Carving station. They showed the potential of Brickform Vertical Mix, textured formwork and rollers to create faux rock, simulated masonry and other hand-molded or cast-in-place surfaces. The “Cement Sisters” have branched out from a San Diego-based family concrete contractor to launch their own California and Utah businesses, Fauxtastic Fix & Finish and RMR Waterfalls.
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Adjacent to Vertical Concrete Carving activity, Solomon Director of Technical Services Chris Becker and colleagues manned the Colored, Textured and Stained Concrete demonstration.

Solomon Colors added “Game of Stones” to this year’s agenda (note opposite page). Two design and finishing teams showed what they could deliver in a 60-hour window when provided 20-ft. square plots; basic set up materials for slabs or wall sections; up to 3 yd. of integrally colored ready mixed concrete; plus, an array of Brickform staining, stamping and finishing materials or tools. A crew from Everlasting Decorative Concrete of Dresser, Wis., prevailed over peers representing Kansas City’s Musselman & Hall Contractors, judges weighing overall quality of workmanship and design; unique features and functional attributes; use of color and materials; work area cleanliness; complexity; and, oral description of finished work.

While Game of Stones, Cement Sisters (below) and other outdoor demonstration participants enjoyed near-optimal weather, Arkansas concrete stenciling ace Rachel Knigge Bruce served shark in the Solomon Colors Training Center main building (see Final Form).

 

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Everlasting Decorative Concrete took the inaugural Game of Stones, carving faux boulders and tree stumps for perimeter, fire pit, fountain and seat effects atop a lightly textured slab.
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Musselman & Hall’s patio and ICF-based benches drew from a spectrum of earth tone colors and stains, coupled with pattern effects and stenciling. The crew pre-cast bench seats on day one.