Luis Valenzuela Martinez | Decorative Concrete Artisan

Luis Manuel Valenzuela MartinezConcrete artisan, Luis Manuel Valenzuela Martinez, Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico definitely knows how to put the “decorative” in decorative concrete.

Luis recently created and installed this vertical artwork featuring Terra Cotta warriors set against a dimensional concrete background of mountains and sky.

Luis Manuel Valenzuela Martinez 2

Luis used a variety of techniques to complete this outstanding project. His first step was to reinforce the wall with concrete backer board. The first layer of quick-setting cement gave texture to the sky area.

 

 

Next he designed and outlined the mountains with wrinkled tape.Luis Manuel Valenzuela Martinez 1 Luis applied more quick-setting cement in random depths for a dimensional effect. A texture roller and a plastic bag applied to the wet cement added an authentic appearance to the mountains.

 

 

Luis Manuel Valenzuela Martinez 9The Terra Cotta warriors required two sets of sticker stencils. Luis used the outline stencil to delineate the areas that required more layers of cement to elevate the warriors from the background.

 

 

Once the cement dried, the second sticker stencil was applied, and the areas to be recessed were peeled away.

Luis Manuel Valenzuela Martinez 6Luis used the Engrave-a-Crete Wasp from the KaleidoCrete family of tools to engrave the facial features and hair, and to add detail to the uniforms.

Color makes the entire design sing. Luis randomly layered three colors of acid stain on the sky area, then added a metallic glaze with gold and copper.

 

 

Luis Manuel Valenzuela Martinez7

The mountains are stained with Charcoal WRC stain, and a metallic black acrylic with glaze adds depth.The warriors are acid stained. Hand stained details give the uniforms a lifelike, multi-tone appearance. Luis completed the project by applying a sealer with a touch of gold and copper added to simulate the glow of a sunset.

 

Luis, your work is outstanding! You make Engrave-A-Crete and the rest of the decorative concrete industry proud. Keep up the good work!

In addition to the Wasp, Luis uses the Engrave-A-Crete Barracuda, Shark, Mongoose, and Blastin’ Betty  in his decorative concrete business.

Luis Manuel Valenzuela Martinez enlarge

To see more projects by Luis, visit his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/solidus.enconcreto/photos

Brad Olmsted | Decorative Concrete Artisan

Life has been busy for Brad Olmsted since opening his decorative concrete business, Concrete Colorscapes, five years ago. During that time, he has left an impressive mark on the world.

Brad Olmsted

An earth-tone swirl created with the Mongoose adds flair to this tile floor.

To say that Brad knows concrete is an understatement. Prior to becoming a business owner and his own boss, Brad worked for 20 years in the concrete coring and cutting industry. Weary of job stress and sensing the need to grow his skills in another direction, he realized it was time for a career change.

“As a part-time exhibiting artist, using a multitude of different media, I took several months off to clear my head and create. Then I really started to understand the whole ‘starving artist’ thing!”

Brad had been interested in concrete staining and engraving for some time and had spent considerable time researching the options, but he wanted to know more. That’s when he enrolled in an Engrave-A-Crete Discovery and Training Seminar and learned for certain that the decorative concrete world was where he belonged.

Brad Olmsted porch

A tile design, engraved diagonally, make this porch a beautiful living space.

“I already knew the characteristics of concrete, but I was interested in knowing more about the tools and techniques,” Brad says.  “Mid-way through the seminar I knew that I could really make things happen with the help of the tools and support from Engrave-A-Crete.”

With a vision in mind, Brad returned home to take the first steps toward founding Concrete Colorscapes.

“With a small line of credit from my bank, a bit of savings and a ton of determination, I started Concrete Colorscapes by purchasing a KaleidoCrete Pro Pack and a Mongoose Deluxe set,” Brad says.

Brad Olmsted roots and blooms

Vivid color and a sophisticated design give life to gray concrete.

From his first job to the most recent, Brad combines excellent design, superior skill and careful attention to detail to produce awesome projects, a few of which are shown on this page.

One particularly impressive work is the 26’ diameter labyrinth Brad installed in the Meditation Garden at Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina. He created the design with an Engrave-A-Crete template and engraved it using the KaleidoCrete System. He achieved the perfect color combination by using Concrete Resurrection Beach Sand and Mocha WRC stains, then created highlights with a custom-mixed brick color. The project was completed some time ago, and it speaks well of the durability of stained and engraved concrete.

Brad Olmsted labyrinth

Serenity and artistry combine in this 26′ diameter labyrinth. Notice Brad’s job-site sign – an ideal way to market his business.

“It has held up great,” Brad says, “even with mowing crews and sap from trees, not to mention squirrels dropping walnut husks!”

Concrete Colorscapes continues to grow, due largely to Brad’s knowledge, skill and strong work ethic.

Brad Olmsted steps

Brad chose the perfect stain color to make these steps blend with the surroundings.

“I have steadily built my business upon hard work, commitment, courtesy, honesty and all that goes into it,” Brad says. “I have done jobs in tiny little screened-in porches up to multi-million dollar homes, and I treat every job as if it was my own floor.”

Brad, you are truly a concrete artisan and an asset to the industry. We at Engrave-A-Crete salute you for your outstanding workmanship and design. You make us proud.  Keep up the good work!

Brad’s website is currently undergoing renovation. To see his latest projects, Like his Facebook page – Concrete Colorscapes.

KlineKrete Engraving Enters World of Decorative Concrete

Decorative concrete in Ashlar Slate.

One certainly can’t tell that Keith and Joan Kline of KlineKrete Engraving are new to the world of decorative concrete. Their beautiful designs and impressive  workmanship speak of volumes more experience than the 7 months they have under their belts since attending the Discovery and Training Seminar and purchasing their first Engrave-A-Crete tools.

Add to that the fact that both hold full-time jobs – Keith is a coast-to-coast (and Canada) trucker and Joan works in an office – and their progress is nothing short of amazing.

Keith and Joan are honing their concrete staining and engraving skills on a variety of projects around their home. Joan creates the designs and layouts, Keith does the engraving and both work on staining. Not only will the Klines enjoy their awesome decorative concrete, the projects will also serve as displays and marketing tools.

Their first project was a barn pad with a flagstone pattern. Next they installed a tile pattern into their front porch (shown in the picture above.)

Brick, tile, a border and a medallion add real pizazz to the Kline’s patio.

Gaining confidence with each finished project, the Klines advanced to a more complicated design on their patio. Joan designed the layout to give the impression of a carpet leading into the house.

Keith used the KaleidoCrete tools and a template to install the border portion of the rug and the medallion, and the Mongoose X  to cut the lines and brick patterns. Concrete Resurrection Mountain Road, Clay Canyon and Rich Mahogany concrete stains gave the project life.

Keith creates a large diagonal tile pattern using the Mongoose X from Engrave-A-Crete.

Currently the Klines are hard at work on their concrete driveway and parking pad. The drive features a diagonal tile design and a soldier brick border.

Joan designed a compass rose for the parking pad, and used her ingenuity to keep costs down.

Joan showcases the engraved compass rose by adding decorative concrete stain to the design.

“I didn’t want to buy an expensive template for the directional letters for the compass,” Joan said, “so I went to a craft store and bought 9” wooden letters and engraved around them with the Wasp. They weren’t as crisp as they would have been with a template, but we’ll get the template later.”

The Klines are also showing decorative concrete marketing savvy by posting a sign reading Another Project by KlineKrete Engraving next to their widely traveled county road. It seems to be working.

“People ask me about the projects when we go into town, and some have taken the time to stop by and inquire,” Keith said.  “After seeing what we’ve done, one person said, ‘I’ve been looking for something like that!’”

He sounds like a prospective customer.

Keith and Joan Kline, we are proud to claim you as part of the Engrave-A-Crete family. Your work is outstanding and we see a bright future ahead for KlineKrete Engraving.

KlineKrete Engraving is located in Bremen, Indiana and can be reached by email at jksquared@hotmail.com.  The KlineKrete Engraving website will be up soon.

A Decorative Concrete Love Story from The Concrete Angel

When Jason Thorn of The Concrete Angel, Winfield, Alabama, evaluated a porch for a decorative concrete installation, little did he know that he would become part of a 43 year-long love story.

Jason had been referred to the owner by a neighbor, and the lady was interested in how he could make her old porch into a beautiful and useable space.

Jason, as a good installer should, showed her pictures of jobs he had completed using various Engrave-A-Crete processes, many of which were quite artistic. To see Jason’s remarkable work, visit theconcreteangel.weebly.com.

The pictures of lovely decorative concrete sparked an idea in the lady’s mind, and she told Jason the story of her husband of 43 years who had recently passed away.

Each year, all year long, the husband saved his dimes. While it’s not unusual to throw change on the dresser at the end of the day, this husband methodically saved every dime until the couple’s annual wedding anniversary.

When the date rolled around he presented the dimes to his wife, saying, “I love you so much I’ll give you every dime I’ve got.”

The lady and Jason agreed that a dime engraved into the porch surface was the perfect symbol for the couple’s love story.

Jason then ordered a detailed custom template of a dime from Engrave-A-Crete, complete with the 1967 date, the year the couple married.

Jason used the KaleidoCrete Wasp to engrave the approximately 18” dime image into the concrete. Silver Stencil Spray provided the right color for the dime, and Jason added his artistic touch to give the surface the authentic hammered look of a coin.

The dime, surrounded by concrete decoratively stained using Concrete Resurrection Honey Oat and Mountain Road, serves as a perfect love-story tribute that will last for the life of the concrete.

The customer was ecstatic with the results, and as you can see in the picture, the installation is stunning.

Engrave-A-Crete salutes Jason Thorn for outstanding artistry and workmanship in the field of decorative concrete.

Jason, your talent and dedication are amazing!

Decorative Concrete – New Opportunity for Job Corp Students

Students in the Masonry class at Jacobs Creek Job Corp, Bristol, Tennessee, are learning state-of-the-art skills thanks to their instructor Herbert Brabson.

Brabson, who recently took over the class, knows that his students need outstanding job skills in a field that is profitable, interesting and has a ready market.  Decorative concrete matches those requirements to a tee.

After considerable research on how to provide his students with the best decorative concrete skills to put them ahead of the competition in the job world, Brabson chose Engrave-A-Crete processes as the ideal fit.

Brabson wanted to make the most of an opportunity to show students and others the awesome design possibilities available with decorative concrete.

He chose the 3D Block pattern, provided by Engrave-A-Crete Senior Tech Advisor Chris Mirabal, as an impressive project for the students to install on a floor of the Job Corp facility.

During the class sessions, students learned to lay out and install the complicated looking design, use Concrete Resurrection stains correctly to give it the 3D effect, and properly seal it.

Students involved in the class quickly spread the word. They were excited about learning skills that lead to a lucrative career, and they were proud of their accomplishments. Fellow students, faculty members and administrators came to admire the work. One of the students is shown at the right.

The end product was quite impressive.  So much so, in fact, that additional students have already signed up for the next decorative concrete class.

The slogan at Jacobs Creek Job Corp is Success Lasts a Lifetime. Brabson’s students are living proof as they enjoy the success of their efforts while continuing to build lifetime decorative concrete skills.

Herbert Brabson and the Jacobs Creek Job Corp – Engrave-A-Crete salutes you for excellence in education and your positive impact on the decorative concrete industry.  Keep up the good work!