Concrete Atelier, New York

According to historical accounts, the earliest-known pool tables, dating back to sometime during the 15th century in Northern Europe, evolved from a lawn game similar to croquet. Eventually, the game moved indoors and was played on a large wood table with green cloth on it to simulate grass. In an ironic modern-day twist, the latest trend is to move the pool table back outdoors, onto the lawn, with concrete serving as a decorative base.

A stunning example is the concrete pool table shown here, designed and fabricated by David and Lisa Hodge, co-founders of Concrete Atelier. The table is a centerpiece in their own backyard, providing both outdoor recreation and ornamentation.

"We designed this piece as a challenge, to show how concrete could be used to create a pool table that is eco-friendly, durable, versatile, aesthetically pleasing, and appropriate for indoor and outdoor use," says Lisa. Their goal is to promote the appeal of custom concrete pool tables to a broad audience, including upscale resorts, cruise ships, and private residences.

Based in New York City, Concrete Atelier specializes in handcrafted cast concrete products that emphasize functionality, beauty, sophistication, and sustainability. Their custom pieces, which include countertops, sinks, bathtubs, fireplaces, and high-end concrete pool tables, attract clients who want something truly unique. "With concrete, the possibilities are limitless," says Lisa. "Our pool tables can be produced in the color combination of the client's choice. We can also create alternative shapes for the legs."

How it was doneDavid and Lisa cast their pool table in custom fiberglass molds in five segments: an 8-foot top and four legs. The top was cast as one monolithic slab weighing a hefty 900 pounds, while each leg weighs 300 pounds. They started with a titanium-white colored concrete mixed to a clay-like consistency, packing the material into the molds using the Buddy Rhodes signature hand-pressing technique. This created voids in the concrete that were later filled with a thinner concrete paste in a platinum-gray shade to achieve beautiful veining effects. (For more information on this process, get Rhodes' video on advanced concrete countertop and furniture-making techniques.) Both color pigments were provided by Blue Concrete Inc. During the casting process, the table was thoroughly reinforced for durability and crack prevention with a variety of materials, including recycled rebar. Once the concrete fully cured, it was then buffed, diamond polished, sealed, and waxed to a beautiful granite-like finish.

To border the pocket openings in the table, they used MDF screwed into a plywood frame to keep the spaces open at the precise dimensions. Leather pockets were added, and exotic, richly colored Wenge wood was bolted to the top and adorned with chrome accents.

To transport the table from their ground-level workspace to their poolside patio, David and Lisa used a mechanical crane to hoist the top and carried each leg separately by hand. Before delivering custom concrete pieces to their clients, however, Concrete Atelier carefully crates everything. "White-glove service is included with every delivery," says Lisa.

Concrete Atelier LLC
New York, NY 10031

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