A Really Nice Thing to Do

T. B. Penick & Sons’ design makes The Julian Center’s playground equipment the focal point of a fantasy cityscape with stamped concrete pathways and a picnic table shelter. Before, the equipment was surrounded by dirt.

Award-winning artisan Jason Geiser of Deco-Crete Supply in Orrville, Ohio, shared his expertise in themed concrete. Innovative and Profitable Stamping Applications students learned about coloring methods, color hardener, finishing techniques, admixtures and mix designs for custom logos, steps, borders, and bands.

These blocks of stone are actually mortar that’s been applied to concrete and carved to look like stone masonry. The Carving Concrete workshop instructor was Troy Lemon of Cornerstone Decorative Concrete in Holland, Mich.

Mark Whitten of Earth Medium Studios in Mason City, Iowa, helped students make a ferrocement boulder that serves as a children’s play structure. Fabricating GFRC Rock Features students designed the sculpture, fabricated its rebar-and-lath armature, sprayed and shaped overlying cement, used color to indicate texture, and applied protective coating.

Southern Arkansas University instructor Steven Ochs oversaw Designing and Coloring Concrete with Water-based Stains. The workshop taught student how to use water-based acrylic stains on an outdoor hardscape.

Designing and Coloring Concrete with Water-based Stains students came up with the sidewalk’s design. It’s based on mosaics created by women and children who’ve passed through the Julian Center, a shelter for victims of domestic abuse. They use broken plates, cups, and pottery to reassemble their shattered lives.

In addition to scoring, texturing, stenciling, coloring, and staining the existing sidewalk, workshop participants selected an appropriate sealer and determined what maintenance the installation will require. Techniques include wet on wet, underpainting, gradations, dry brush, and airbrush.

Concrete Polishing Association of America board member Jeremy Wilkerson, who works for DreamKrete in Richmond, Va., taught Beyond the Basics: Decorative Effects for the Polishing Contractor. Students tore out and replaced the vinyl floor in Julian Center’s multipurpose room with a stained and polished floor that required them to use metal- and resin-bond diamond pads, score-cut lines, stencil, and apply densifiers.

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