Turning Concrete into Art
Art has been with humans from the very beginning and continues to be a daily part of life. Dan Doolan is no stranger to art, having received his Master's Degree in Fine Art and having taught art at several Arizona schools. Dan is also the inventor and patent holder of Surface Gel Tek's gelled acid.
Mr. Doolan took inspiration for his newest experiment from some of the earliest know examples of human-kinds love of art, the 30,000 year old cave paintings from the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave in Southern France. The idea was to reinterpret some of these images into concrete using Surface Gel Tek's Flattoo and Gelled Acid system. Starting first with a precast 18"x18"x1" concrete paver, acid stain was applied in layers. The colors were applied starting with the lightest shades and building towards a very dark brown, almost black, earthy color. The layering affect of the acid stains becomes important later on in the project.
With the acid stained paver dry, a Flattoo (high precision vinyl template) created for the project by Tamryn Doolan, was applied to the paver on top of the acid stains. Gelled acid was used in varying degrees to etch through the layers of acid stains and to model the colors around the Flattoo to give a more organic feel to the lines and to create subtle color variations throughout the piece. Additional color was added in at this point to create more variations throughout the piece. When this step was completed the Flattoo was removed to reveal the unetched areas. The last step was to apply a sealer to protect the new piece of art.
We can easily say that the final results of this project raised the bar for what can be accomplished with decorative concrete. Projects like these remind us what is possible with the proper tools, the right imagination, and a taste for experimenting.