The Decorative Concrete Institute
Are you looking to break into the decorative concrete world? Or, perhaps, are you a seasoned
veteran of the business looking for new ideas and to sharpen your skills? We have training opportunities available for everyone! We've just added several new classes.
Be sure to
check out the training available on our website:
Decorative Concrete Institute
Sorry for the slight delay with the newsletter. You know how the holidays can be. Let's bring you back up to speed with some of the events that have taken place in October and November.
|Concrete Countertop Conference|
We were fortunate to be invited back to North Carolina for the second Concrete Countertop Conference hosted by the Concrete Countertop Institute.
This was a wonderful event with over 300 attendees and a host of guest speakers such as Buddy Rhodes, Fu-Tung Cheng and Jeff Girard to name a few.
I was asked to co-present with Doug Bannister on the subject of cast-in-place countertops. Our talk was just over one hour long covering many unique and interesting projects. There were also many live demonstrations taking place at many of the exhibitor's booths. For those of you already in the business of countertops or thinking about getting in to the business, I would recommend you attend this annual event since there was a ton of information being shared. Hats off to both Jeff and Lane for putting on this impressive event!
|Concrete Countertop Class|
October 31 - November 2
With no rest for the weary and while concrete countertops were on everyone's mind, the Decorative Concrete Institute and the Concrete Countertop Institute held their cast-in- place countertop class at DCI's facility in Temple, Georgia.
Despite having 18 students (that's a lot) this was an awesome class that was highly motivated to learn. Both Jeff and I commented that each of the groups worked together as a team while producing some beautiful finished cast-in-place counters.
We started off in the classroom with roughly two hours of lecture preparing the group for the forming and reinforcing of their own projects. Once we completed the classroom portion, Bob and Jeff poured their own counter using enCOUNTER bag mix as a teaching aide. Once we got the students started, the rest was history! All three groups kicked some major behind preparing for their pour and ultimately finishing their project complete with the application of sealer. Great job guys and good luck with your countertops!!
|Mara's Baby Shower|
Not to mention the schedule we already keep, we are getting prepared for being "Grandparents". Yes, that's right. If you recall in past newsletters, our oldest daughter, Mara and our son-in-law Michael are expecting their first baby, due on January 3. We are going to have a granddaughter and she will be named "Natilee Ann". In preparation for this event, Lee Ann, her sister Lisha and Mother Mary held a baby shower at the well-known "DCI Classroom". (This room since it was established has been the host of many events other than workshops. And believe it or not, no concrete was discussed!) Mara was blessed with many friends and gifts to start this little one in to the world. We'll keep you posted on the arrival of this exciting event for all of us!
|Kemiko Stain Workshop|
We were once again fortunate to have Barb and Sarge of Kemiko at our facility to help with yet another Kemiko stain class. With a total of fifteen students at this class, this proved to be an action packed, full, two days of staining, decorative score cutting and engraving. A variety of tools and equipment were used enabling the students to have a go at using equipment they had not had the opportunity to use before - engraving equipment such as the Barracuda, Wasp, and the Mongoose in addition to other equipment such as the Crac Vac and a variety of grinding equipment.
Once the group completed their designs on their panels, we demonstrated proper application techniques of acid stain ranging from spray applying to fun faux finishing affects using sealers as a resist creating cool graphics.
We capped off the last day with wonderful discussions on sealers, which as I'm sure many of you can agree, can be a sensitive issue. I get more problem phone calls relating to sealer problems than most of the other decorative applications! Water-based acrylic in both matte and gloss were applied in addition to solvent-based high-gloss acrylic. Kemiko's buff in wax as well as their Easy Shine mop down wax was demonstrated. A new sealer was shown on an actual in place 700 square foot floor called Polyaspartic. This sealer is 95% solids yet dry to the touch in less than two hours. This is amazing stuff however, be careful when working with high build coatings, they can bite you in the rear if you're not careful. Stay tuned next year for a course on just sealers at DCI!
We were fortunate to be invited on the first ever "Decorative Concrete Cruise" as a guest presenter, and, boy, what a cruise it was! Hats off to Michael Bulness for arranging this inaugural event. The cruise left out of the port of Miami and then cruised to Key West. After spending the day in Key West we headed for Cozumel Mexico.
Fortunately for everyone, the weather was spectacular making for a great day of shopping, snorkeling, and exploring capping off our day at Senior Frogs for some awesome fu fu drinks! This establishment sure knows how to serve it up with many unique and interesting ways of doing shots. You know what I mean Leo! Our last day was spent on the open sea talking about, you guessed it, Concrete! The presentations included how to run your business, vertical applications, concrete countertops, and an overall overview of the decorative concrete industry.
This was a great time and we were fortunate to have family members: Both Moms, Lori and Jon, Leo and Tammi and friends John and Gayle all the way from England in attendance. Rumor has it Michael is already planning for next year's 7-day cruise scheduled for the week of November 9, 2008. I promise you, you won't want to miss this one!
|Concrete Tops and Sinks with Mike Easterguard of Preitech|
While at the Concrete Countertop conference we finally had the opportunity to meet the owner, Mike Easterguard. Mike is a creative individual with a very unique system of producing unbelievable countertops and sinks with custom foam molds. We arranged for Mike to visit the DCI studio demonstrating some interesting custom sink designs.
Knowing the Harley Davidson enthusiasts that we are, Mike took the initiative to prepare for some unbelievable concrete counters / sinks. I like the fact that not one screw or fastener was used during the production of these counters. We like that you don't have to be a highly skilled carpenter / craftsman, but yet through the use of the innovative systems, you can produce stunning pieces of art. After it was all said and done, Bob got his creative side out and had some fun with Modello stencils and airbrushed dyes. It came out pretty cool, you be the judge! Thanks Mike! We look forward to having you back!
We at DCI hope that you and your families enjoyed some quality family time and time away from work. Have all of you recovered from the over indulgence of a wonderful Thanksgiving meal?
This happens to be Lee Ann's favorite holiday of the year and, boy ,did she do it up this year!
| Vertical Mix in Hallway|
Yep, here we go again with some additional improvements at DCI with some interesting FossilCrete vertical applications in our hallway. We'll send you additional progress shots in future newsletters.
Other DCI News. For you two-wheel junkies, check out our new addition to the family, a 1949 hydraglide which will be restored thru the winter months.
Also, we will be heading to France for our first ever DCI-Europe workshop. We cannot wait to report back to all of you on this event.
One last thing, don't forget our upcoming workshop in March, "Getting Started in the Field of Decorative Concrete" with many guest presenters. You won't want to miss this one . . . it will knock your socks off!
Click here for Workshop Schedules