The Concrete Countertop Institute has announced that its Ultimate Concrete Countertop Training course will be held at a location near London, England, from August 31 through September 4, 2015.
Concrete worktops and other bespoke concrete creations such as sinks, furniture and fireplaces are becoming more popular throughout the U.K. and Ireland, based on data from The Concrete Countertop Institute on the number of enquiries received in the past year.
Jeff Girard, president of The Concrete Countertop Institute, explains, “It’s clear that the popularity of concrete is surging in the U.K. and Ireland. I’ve had several students travel from there to the Ultimate training course here in the U.S. in the past year. I wanted to bring the course over there, where not only will travel be more convenient and less costly for students, but also I can use local materials to create from-scratch mixes. I’m working closely with a student in Tonbridge to set up a fully equipped, functional workshop for the course, and will provide a detailed list of where to get materials and equipment in the U.K.” Materials and equipment will be provided in part by Fibre Technologies International, Power-Sprays, and Specialised Tools & Materials, all based in England.
The 5-day course is designed for professionals who wish to start or add to a business, and an interview is required for admission. The course includes hands-on instruction from Jeff Girard on every step of the process, including mold making, mix design, casting techniques, polishing and sealing. Both traditional precast and glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) are covered, with a focus on GFRC. Lane Mangum, VP of Business Services, covers business topics such as marketing, selling, pricing, websites and social media. Course materials include approximately 400 pages of detailed textbooks on both technical and business topics, plus several hours of videos.
Mangum reports, “Interest in the course has been very strong. I’ve been very pleased to speak with several candidates who are already doing beautiful, creative work with concrete, as well as others who have no experience with concrete but are skilled craftsmen in other trades. Four students are enrolled at this time, and only eight more will be accepted. I’m looking mainly for the desire to create a successful business making high quality concrete, which requires attention to detail and dedication to quality. It doesn’t require any concrete experience; in fact carpentry experience is more important.”
The tuition cost is $4,295 US (approximately £2755 at the time of writing), and includes the hands-on course, all textbooks and videos, plus membership and direct support from Girard and Mangum.
Fibre Technologies is the leading U.K. specialist to the GFRC industry. It supplies a wide range of specialist materials including alkali resistant glass fiber, acrylic polymer, plasticizers and more.
Power-Sprays designs, develops and manufactures a comprehensive range of GRC production equipment and accessories. Its machinery is used by GRC manufacturers in more than 100 countries worldwide.
STM, Specialised Tools & Materials, offer a wide range of professional-grade cement and epoxy coating products, including Rapid Set Cement-All, a high-quality material that is ideal for use where rapid strength gain, high durability and low shrinkage are desired.
The Concrete Countertop Institute’s mission is to raise the standard for concrete countertops. The Institute provides engineering-based training via hands-on and self-study classes using from-scratch mixes.
Lane Mangum, [email protected]