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
Shame on us for letting so much time go by for this newsletter, our only excuse is to take a course on time management. Sorry for the delay, but let's catch up on all of the wonderful things that have happened over the last two months or so.
DCI Does Europe
The week of December 11, Bob and Lee Ann and DCI West affiliate, Mark Haen hopped on a plane and traveled abroad to France for DCI's inaugural European training. This class was held at Moderne Methode, just out of Paris and managed by Frederic Ljung and Mike Archambault. Our trip started off leaving the afternoon of Saturday the 8th only to arrive the next morning @ 6:15 am on Sunday. After a half day of climatizing we were on site on Monday the 17th for a busy day of prepping before our workshop. It was strange to leave the hotel at 7:30 am in the dark and then for it to get dark again at 4:00 pm. Our 4-day class with Fred and Mike was intense training with the emphasis being on micro-toppings, stamped overlays, self-leveling overlays, polished concrete, stains & dyes with saw cutting techniques with a small taste of vertical stamping and exterior exposed aggregate. WHEW!!!!! As you can see, this was a lot to cover in this time frame. The group of 23 students were highly motivated and produced some stunning work. It was amazing for us to see the popularity of some of these applications in this region of Europe, especially considering the amount of time the decorative concrete market has been in existence. We asked Mike and Fred what their most popular application was and strangely enough their comment was micro-topping which their version is referred to as Béton Ciré. Thank you Mike and Frederic and your entire staff for allowing us to be a part of your impressive operation. We were impressed with your facility and can't wait to come back to assist you with the next class. (Editor's Note: More photos from this class appear in the bar at the left of this e-mail.)
After an evening recovery from a long week of training, Bob, Lee Ann and Mark take the day off and board the train en route to Paris. What a great day we had visiting some of the sites in downtown Paris!
Sunday, Mark boards his plane back to reality in the states, while Bob and Lee Ann board their plane and head south to the wonderful city of Venice, Italy for additional meetings with friends Maricio Pontello, Luca Seminati, and John Anderson of Ideal Works. We can't tell you yet what the meetings consist of, but stay tuned for some very exciting news in upcoming months! Once our meetings were finished, Bob and Lee Ann rented a car and headed to the incredible city of Rome for a two-day breather. Yeah right! Forget the breather part, they tracked on close to 10 miles of walking while dodging crazy traffic which included scooters! In any event, what an incredible city with amazing architecture.
The Coliseum at Rome
St. Peter's in Rome
Paris Scenes Below
At Le Tour Eiffel!
Bob and Lee Ann on a Balcony in Venice
|Announcing Our Latest Project - Natilee Ann Hopper!|
January 7, 2008
On January 7, our daughter Mara and our son-in-law, Michael Hopper gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Natilee Ann Hopper, weighing in @ 6 lbs. 7-1/2 oz, 18" long. If there was ever a text book pregnancy, this would have been it. Mara you did great and you and Michael should be so proud to have such a beautiful new addition to your family. By the way Michael, I'll leave your comments out of the newsletter, when I asked you if you looked down there to watch the birth of Natilee. Ha Ha Ha! Both Lee Ann and I are very proud of you guys.
Congratulations and thanks for making us grandparents, alias "Sassy & Grandpa"!
(Editor's Note: Can anyone figure out why the newsletter is late getting out this month? Hmmmm. . .)
|Colormaker Skim Coats-Stains-Dyes Workshop|
January 9-10-11, 2008
January 9-10-11 was the week of our ColorMaker, Skim Coats-Stains-Dyes workshop. This was a smaller class which really focused on the attention to detail. The first day, Bob and the students applied Sgraffino regular to one panel while applying Pentimento to their next practice panel. With both of these products the students learned how to tint not only the mixed product but used the same Colorfast pigment broadcast in to the surface of the freshly installed topping. They were amazed at some of the color variations you could obtain using Colorfast which is a water-wetable pigment. The second day included additional applications of Sgraffino Fine and Super Fine over the previously installed Sgraffino regular. After Bob's instruction on how to use various tools that included the crack-vac, mongoose, 4" grinder, and a variety of engraving tools, the rest was history. The students were off and running creating their own graphics while producing some stunning floors. Once the graphics were completed, a variety of patina stains, water-based dyes, and solvent-based dyes were demonstrated and then applied to the individual's panels. I have to say, we were very impressed with the outcome of all of your panels and keep up the good work! Oh, by-the-way, what do you think of these rollerblade knee pads? They work awesome!
|World of Concrete - Las Vegas|
January 21-25, 2008
The annual World of Concrete Show, held in Las Vegas, January 21-25 was an interesting one to say the least. What amazed us the most about this week was how many people got sick with the flu or colds, including Bob and Lee Ann of which we are just now overcoming our colds. That aside, this was a very busy and hectic week, but a good one none-the-less. Monday, Bob gave a seminar on "How to Get Started in the Business of Decorative Concrete" with close to 100 attendees. This seminar seemed to be very well received. Monday evening was the Annual ASCC Kick-off Bash (American Society of Concrete Contractor's) where we had the opportunity to visit with friends in the industry.
On Tuesday and Wednesday @ 8:00 am sharp, Bob and friend Tom Ralston presented the seminar on Acid Stains with a variety of different techniques and a wonderful showcase of finished samples. Like always, Tommy, it is a lot of fun to present with you and it seems to amaze me with all of your antidotes each year. These seminars by far had the largest attendance with Tuesday's attendance being close to 400 as we were told.
A special thanks to Jim Peterson and the Concrete Network for the invitation to your Tuesday evening party. We really enjoyed ourselves and it was great to see all of our friends within the industry.
Wednesday evening, we were fortunate again to be invited to the Kemiko Distributor party hosted by Barb and Sarge of Kemiko and Joe Matrang of Epmar. We enjoyed our evening with all of you and you are very fortunate to have a great group of distributors representing the Kemiko line. Thursday was our only day off from presenting. We put on our running track shoes and ran through the entire World of Concrete exhibits. Never again will we try to take everything in, in one day! To close the week out, Friday, Clif Rawlings of HTC and Bob presented, "The Final Finish" with the focus being on Polished Concrete. This was another great turnout which is an indication of the popularity of the Polished Concrete market. Great job Clif! I enjoyed presenting with you again this year!
|Getting Started in the Field of Decorative Concrete|
Coming in March
Click here for Details!
Don't forget our upcoming March, "Getting Started in the Field of Decorative Concrete" workshop. This should be an exciting 4-days of working and networking with many industry professionals. We promise to try and keep up with our newsletter a little better, especially for those loyal readers! We do already have lots to talk about in February. From Lee Ann and I, thank you for your support and we will be back in touch with you soon!