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"Concrete is one of the oldest, strongest and most durable materials that humans have ever made. Because it is mixed and poured, its variations and design potentials are almost infinite Applications are limited only by the imagination," says Wanda Ellerbeck of Grotto Designs in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Buddy Rhodes in San Francisco, CA Art and Maison Inc. in North Miami, FL

"Concrete is one of the oldest, strongest and most durable materials that humans have ever made. Because it is mixed and poured, its variations and design potentials are almost infinite Applications are limited only by the imagination," says Wanda Ellerbeck of Grotto Designs in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Concrete offers many qualities for furniture:

It's versatile and can be molded to have soft, graceful curves and warm, soothing color tones. For a look that's bold and contemporary, fabricators can cast concrete into interesting geometric shapes and color it an array of bright, vivid hues.

Because concrete can be poured to shape any form, it can also be cast to accommodate any type of existing space restrictions.

Concrete offers a unique look and its creative possibilities are endless. Each concrete artisan approaches his or her craft personally, achieving a distinct look by building his or her own forms, developing special casting techniques, and using proprietary materials and coloring methods.

Concrete also gives a natural look and feel and blends well with other design elements.

Fu-Tung Cheng of Cheng Designs says he was immediately drawn to the virtues of concrete. "It is easily sculpted, it takes any guise, and it mimics whatever you pour it into, I like to think of it as naturalistic. You can create your own topography and your own landscape."

Buddy Rhodes of Buddy Rhodes Studios says the design, color, and finish options are perhaps the most appealing aspects of concrete. That, plus the fact that it's hands-on and handcrafted.

Most concrete artisans are passionate about their work and take great pains to achieve superior results.