Brandon Boetto: 2013 Big Brain Awards Finalist, Craft

You submitted nominations for awards given to the Valley's emerging creatives and the results are in. Introducing our Big Brain 2013 Finalists.

Leading up to the Big Brain Award awards announcement and celebration on April 27, Chow Bella and Jackalope Ranch will introduce the finalists.

Up today: Brandon Boetto

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Photos by Becky Bartkowski
Brandon Boetto's work is heavy -- but not as heavy as you'd expect.

The industrial designer deals in concrete. It's not just any concrete, though. Boetto explains that the mixture he uses is high-performance, meaning it's extremely durable and ideal for use in furniture and home accessories. Sure, heavy items can be crafted, but small pieces, like coasters and bookends, are lighter than they look.

See also:
- Announcing the 2013 Big Brain Finalists
- Artopia/Big Brain Awards 2013: Call for Craft Vendors

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Becky Bartkowski
Boetto was drawn to concrete as a creative medium about two years ago, when he found himself in an artistic rut. "I needed to get off my computer and get involved with something tangible that I could shape and sculpt to life with my own hands," he says.

He kept seeing concrete sinks featured on architectural design blogs. He took a class with local artisan concrete worker Brandon Gore of Gore Design Co. and Hard Goods, and he's been hooked ever since.

"The nuances of concrete are so intriguing to me because the beauty in a piece is most often actually the result of mistakes made by the artisan," Boetto says. "The shade, discolorations, voids, and stains all work to add character to a piece, making each creation highly unique. The beauty of concrete is found in its imperfections."

Boetto counts Gore as a mentor and good friend. "He taught me to not be afraid of screwing up. You can't allow your creativity to ever be held back by fear."

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