Crafting Concrete: Colors, Fibers, and a Quest in Napa

This week on The Concrete Podcast, we’re takin’ a ride into the vibrant world of Super Pigments and PVA Fiber Dispersion. We're talking about how staying true and consistent is your best bet to success, and how doing things with integrity really makes all the difference. Plus, we’ll give you the scoop on next week’s Hero’s Quest Workshop out in beautiful Napa, CA. It’s gonna be one for the books, so tune in, folks!



Hello, John Schuler.

Hello, Brandon Gore.

We are exactly one week out from the Concrete Hero's Quest in Napa, CA, which is the only workshop for 2024 where you're going to learn ramcrete.


Ramcrete, which is the hottest aesthetic in the concrete industry by far.

I put it out there.

That is true.

That is true.

Yeah, it is true.

You know, it's interesting.


See, I I literally see this is terrible, right.

So when you're talking about it literally while you're talking about it, I just got a text from Vincent Cathguard saying hey, thank you for the mention and that he's building another side table with RAM, you know, with a Ram Crete look, so.


Dude, I've I've received it's on average between 3:00 and 5:00 inquiries per week now for several months.

This last week is no different from architects and designers wanting to talk about rammed earth cladding, rammed earth furniture.

It's just everybody's going that direction.


It is on trend.

And the thing about trends is you don't want to be late to them.

You want to be early on the trend you want to be the go to.

So if you're interested.

If you're interested, you don't regret the chances you take, but you regret the things you don't do.


So if you're interested, go to and register for the Concrete Heroes quest.

It is your only chance in 2024.

There won't be another class this year doing Ramcrete, it's your only chance to learn it.

So take a chance.

Buy the tickets.



You only live once.

Do it.

Me too.

Add one more tool to the toolbox and increase your business potential.

No question about it.

And yeah, and just spend, spend a few days with like minded, concrete people.

That's the thing I really enjoy about it.

I enjoy just spending time.

There's going to be so many good people there who's all coming.


A lot of people are coming.

Kyle Davis is coming, Josh Bradshaw's coming.

There's just a whole litany of awesome concrete artisans that have been to several workshops now that are coming as well as new people.

And I just look forward to spending a few days with them and being around like minded people.





So, John, I have a, a list of things to discuss.

I don't know where to begin.

There we have, you know, there's no rhyme or reason to the list.

But one of the things that has been just kind of circulating the last few days, I think it's something, you know, it's important to talk about, is treating.


Oh, what's the right word?


This is a tough one.

Yeah, how to phrase this?

There's a certain situation going on right now.

I've seen people send me screenshots of a post on one of the Facebook groups that I'm not a part of.


But it seems that there's there's been some bad business transactions essentially where somebody has agreed to buy something or sell something and then they they don't pay and they just kind of play games for a while.


And what I would say my viewpoint is as somebody that runs a business, but it's also somebody that sells materials and things is just always on your commitments, always do the right thing because ultimately stuff like this will come to the surface, you know?


What are your thoughts, John?


Oh, 100% agree.

You know, as I said many times, the bill will come due.

There's only so many people that that kind of situation is going to work on, right?

Like, hey, I sent the check.

Oh, what do you mean the check didn't sign up?

Well, oh, I didn't sign the check.

Oh, send it back.

And this goes on weeks and months and whatever the case may be.


But you know, by the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6 times that you've done that, you know, the word gets out, the word gets out.

And it's been out on the West Coast for some time.

We knew somebody and let's just say we all think he's a great guy.


I'd go hang out with, I'd go to lunch with him and but we'll all agree that you just, you just don't do business with this person, that's all.


Yeah, that's he's not good in business.

Yeah, not the same experience, but a similar experience in a sense of when I was in Phoenix, I, there was a person doing concrete there that became known, at least you know, within circles that they were taking customers deposits but not delivering the work.


And I would sometimes compete against this person kind of unknowingly.

Somebody come to me for a project and you price this, I'd give them a quote, they go to that person, can you price it, give them a quote And they and then I'd follow up with them and say, hey, just, you know, checking in and say Oh well, I talked to so and so and their price was much cheaper.


We're going to go with them.

And I'd just say, hey, that's that's great.

I wish you the best.

Several of those people over, you know, whatever amount of time, three months, six months ended up finally coming back to me and asking me to to do the project And and I'd ask them, we know what happened and they said, well, I paid the deposit and never heard from them again.


Won't return phone calls, won't return emails.

And I said, yeah, you know, unfortunately I I've had several other people tell me that and they'd be like, well, why didn't you tell me?

And I said, yes, it's not my place to tell you.

You know, you're grown, you're an adult, and I'm not here to tell you what you should or shouldn't do.


So with this, you know, we're not naming names.

But consider this just kind of a general warning that just, you know, try to do business with people that honor their commitments.

And if you have any questions, if you should do business, somebody ask around, you know see if anybody else has done business with that person and see if they fulfilled the the transaction so.


Well, see, that's all.

That's the hard thing, though.

I mean, let's just talk because I actually talked to, you know, the person who put up the post and we had a conversation.

It's like, oh man, well, if I had known that in advance, you know, these various stories that are heard from other people about things going on, he goes, I would have never done it.


And I'm like, well, yeah, I don't know, man.

I mean, you know, are you in a Scarlet letter?

I mean are we all gonna jump out there and go, hey, you know, so and so and like, you know, where are the boundaries of that?

Because if that's true, I mean, heck, we know material suppliers that have like legitimately sold people expiring materials and then and then when they got called on it like, well, yeah, but when I sold it to you, it wasn't expired.


I mean so and then I mean right, I mean.

But John, John, yeah, what I'd say to that is that that has gotten around you know that.

Yeah, that has gotten.


So essentially it all eventually comes to the surface.

It all eventually will make its rounds if you don't treat people the way you'd want to be treated.


It really comes down to the golden rule of treat people the way you want to be treated.

That's something I've I've aspired to do with core design company and hard goods.

It's something that you and I have committed to doing with Kodiak.

Whenever there's a problem and inevitably problems arise.

I mean it's just we're human and there's a whole host of humans in the process of material suppliers and blending and freight companies.


Dude, I mean there's.

There's so many points of failure in that process where things can go wrong.

Most of the times they go right.

But everyone knows something goes wrong.

And when it goes wrong, you want somebody to treat you the way you'd want to be treated.

And that's what it comes down to.

But if you make it a a habit of treating people unfairly and dishonestly, then eventually that will come to light.


Like if you sell people expired goods and it shows up and you say, oh sorry, buy more.

Or if somebody buys pallets of of materials and the materials don't show and they call and say, hey, where are the materials, you know, several weeks later and they're like, I don't know, don't know what to tell you, you know, I mean, that kind of stuff will eventually make the rounds and people, well, well, no, like hey, this isn't a person you want to do business with.



So just treat people right, People listening, even if you're listening to your own businessman, you know, I just say.

And from a business perspective, busy or not busy, you will continue to grow as long as you treat people right.

That's right.



That was something else I didn't put on my list.

But consistency.

Consistency is key in life.

You know, we talk about health sometimes, and I'm back to working out, you know, and I'm on my third week now of of working out six days a week and eating healthier.


You know, that kind of stuff.

You know, I talk about this every single day when I'm driving.

We we share what we had for breakfast and you know, whatever.

But consistency, it's all consistency.

You know, you just have to show up day in, day out.

And if you do those things consistently, eventually it pays off.


You know, if you focus on your health consistently, eventually it pays off.

It's not day one.

It's not even day 30, but day 300, day 3000.

You know those things show up.

And same things with business.

If you consistently treat people well, you can consistently act from a place of integrity and honesty.


Then it pays off in the long run.

Now it's funny, we talked about the health thing because Jay just hit me, I don't know, a couple days ago, him and I were driving, right?

And he's like, hey, dad, so when you were bodybuilding, do you have pictures, any of that?

I'm like, yeah, I got, I got some pictures of it.


You show them to me sometimes.

So last night, AIM pulled out some of the pictures, like when I was getting ready for, you know, Norcal and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

And he's looking at him and he's like, he's like, Dang dad, He's like, well, you know, you're still a big guy, but wow, you know what?


So it's almost like I wanted to go like, what happened to you fat?

Turd, you know.

It's like, you know, Chase, I said, well, Jay, I hear you.

You saying consistent.

I wasn't consistent.

I mean after that in a car accident, elbow, you know, shoot, man, I didn't, I didn't, I didn't work out for 20 plus years.


I walked away from all of it.

When you and I and I were talking about, have you seen like Mike O'hearn?


That name may not bring mean anything to you, but here's a guy that you know look at that guy today at 5556 years old and you think like Dang and not because he's doing anything special.


He just stayed consistent kept eating good.

You know some of your some of the guys who were in that whole fitness industry, men and women.

And you look at to the Denise Austin and the rest of them and I know we're focused on health at the moment, but yeah, you know they again I guess what I was saying is they didn't do it.


They just stayed consistent.

Where the rest of us got on a fast food, McDonald and Donut diet for 20 years, you know, they kept rolling and the same could be said for our businesses.

You know, stay consistent and stay diligent.

Yeah, Yep.



Tony Robbins.

I was listening to Tony Robbins again this last week and he's talking about how we, we all say we should I I should do this, I should do that.

And he's like, you should all over yourself.

You know, that's what people do.

Don't, don't.

I should do, you know, if it's important to you, do it.


And so, yeah, I mean showing up for your business.

For me, the things I try to stay consistent on are processes, our cleanliness, our organization.

In my, my shop, I try to keep everything organized every day.

I try to clean, you know, maybe it's OCD, maybe it's whatever.


But these are things I stay consistent on and I have for, you know, 20 years now.

It allows me to be functional.

It allows me to be productive.

It allows me to be efficient.

But it's through consistency.

I can't just be organized once a week and then the other days I'm here, I'm disorganized.


I can't just be clean once a week, you know, It's these are things that just takes consistency.

So not to beat a dead horse, but that is important.

Consistency is important.

Something else I want to talk about is on my list.

And something we have been meaning to talk about for a while is somehow John Schuler implemented the freight plugins on the website and they work.


I'll be damned if these things don't work.

So we get, you know, I don't know how many orders now have come through in the last few weeks where people didn't realize they could choose freight.

Now they're just so used to booking their own freight.

And so even though we changed the language and it says, you know, choose an option, freight's available.


Now they they don't even see it because they're so used to it.

So if you're ordering pallets of material or half pallets of material through the website, now when you're checking out, click the drop down and there'll be 3 freight options, XPO, Old Dominion and R&L, and it'll show the rates and then there'll be book your own freight.


Some people still want to book their own freight.

We have a customer in Montana.

Is that, yeah, that has it delivered to a, a warehouse like a one, one thing, a transfer station, and he picks it up there.

It's a lot easier for him than having a truck come to a shop.

So he'll he'll do that, But for most people it's going to be cheaper and it's going to be a lot easier and a lot less time just to click R&L and it's handled for you.


You don't have to worry about it.

So anyways, that's available on the website so you've been made aware.

One more thing, just to kind of, you know, help but be a little more efficient for everybody.

Well, it was one of those things that what I consistently heard from people when I had a conversation and I'd say what can we do better?

Everybody said freight is a pain in the butt.


I had some, Brandon Browning was the last one I talked to.

That was really kind of the impetus to do something was he said.

You know, I don't order a lot of times because I don't want to deal with the freight.

You know, he just, he didn't place an order because it was such a pain in the butt to have to call E shipping and handle that.


Give them a credit card and you know the whole back and forth you want to.

Do it one stop you.

Don't want you don't deal with it.

And I get it because I'm the same way, dude, I hate calling people on the phone.

I just, I don't want to deal with it.

And so that was something that was, it was a big pain point for people as a friction point and it's something that we have now remedied.


I say we John, did, you know, thank God John did it because dude.

I'm like a tech genius.

You're you're something, bro.

You're something.

But it it shocks me because when you told me you're going to do it, I thought our website's going to crash.

You know we're not going to have a website tomorrow.

I thought the same thing.


Oh man.

But it's working and you know.

It's funny because I actually, when I talked to AIM about it, my wife and she's like, what are you doing?

I'm like, I'm just going to do it.

I'm just going to do it.

And the reason why I'm bringing her up is if anybody, you know, I don't know how anybody else handles stuff.


When I get super frustrated, I get really frustrated.


So I had already, let's say, resigned myself to extreme frustration trying to figure this out.

And but I did and it was frustrating.

It really was.

But we got it done, man.


We really got it done.


Well, and the great thing too is it was kind of a soft roll out.

We didn't announce it initially and some people booked it without us saying anything.

They saw the freight option and they booked it and we would call and get freight quotes and then compare it to what was pulling on the website because it's using you know an API plug in that's that's connected.


But we just want to make sure that everything was right and everything's been spot on.

The quotes have been correct.

Everybody's been getting and when we talk to people they for the most part, everybody's gotten a much better price for freight than what they're getting, correct.

Yeah, yeah, no, it's going great man.


It's going great.

So just as a caveat to that, all that means is when anybody checks out, when you hit that final screen of checkout, again, this is a Shopify issue.

So you you need to actually click on the drop down box.


When it's, you'll see the words that says shipping method.

It's not even a it doesn't even look like a box.

You just read the words.

It says shipping method go up there click on that and then the drop down box will open up showing you the various ones.

But I I think I said before in another podcast I I did my best through Shopify to say what you know why doesn't this automatically open And they're like Nope that's just how we do it.


So it is what it is and but that's what needs to hit.

You need to open, actually click on it, open it.

Who did I talk to Tommy yesterday?

Actually, he's like, well, I got to that page, but I didn't see it.

I'd see it open up and I'm like, yeah, well, that's 'cause you have to actually click on it.


And that's a Shopify issue, unfortunately.


Before I go with the rest of my list, I'll tell you what I've been working on this week, which is interesting, is I've been casting well.

I did the Concord Erosion sink and I finished that.

I'm actually going to deliver it to the customer probably on Friday.

I'm going to drive it out to him.


So I sealed it yesterday.

Speaking of ceiling, you put together some videos because one of the issues that some people with ICT have is they get very locked into a regimen of ceiling protocol.

I do 22 to ones, one, one to one.


You know, whatever, they they get these numbers set in their head and they don't watch the concrete.

They don't observe.

They talked to so and so, he said he only does two he or three or or whatever.

Yeah, yeah.

And they don't observe.

Lock those numbers into your.

Head they're just, they're not like watching.

Is the concrete still absorbing sealer?


Well it's not locked up yet so there's little tail signs And so you posted on the ICT Facebook page a video and I think it's a couple other places.

I feel like I've seen it some other places, but of these tails and so it's very important.

If you're an ICT user, you're new to ICT whatever and you're not looking for those things, go watch the video and keep an eye on those because yeah, you don't want to get too focused.


I mean, I'm kind of guilty of this as well.

I called you yesterday.

I'm like, hey John, I'm done four.

I've done 4/1 to ones and it's still not 100%.

There's a couple little spots you're like, well, do a few more, you know, so which I did and then it totally locked up and it was great.

But you just need to watch, need to watch the concrete.


Any thoughts on that?

Well, yeah, thoughts indeed.

I actually had a a really good guy I know who picked up some of the new single component and he sent me back let's say his test results and let's being very very kind.


They were horrible.

They were not semi horrible.

They were horrible.

And the first thing I wrote him back and I'm like, well, because I read, hey I and it was one of those hey I did one of this, one of that, two of that this and that and and I'm like, well, but it's clearly showing me based on your results that it's not sealed which to him like well yeah but I did.


You know I I read the instructions and said you know, X of this and X of that.

I'm like yeah, ICT is a different technology.

You know.

You know maybe with a coating, hey two of this application or two of that and you're going to get your plastic film on there.


ICT is based on the concrete and how it's reacting with the concrete.


Reactive sealer getting locked into how many numbers of apps I've done, etcetera, is not the way to do it.

It's, you know, let the concrete tell you when it's sealed if that makes sense, you know, let it tell you.


And in the video there's actually a couple times where I showed like at first man, it looked brilliant and then I went back and I looked 5 minutes later what, you know, while the while the application was to a dwelling and then I'd see some darkening happen, you know, minutes later.


And all I can say is as long as the concrete is still sucking up sealer, it's not sealed.

And that's just the way it is.

And that's where all of us have to find our happy place between whatever dilutions we're doing or how many times we're doing that dilution, whatever it happens to be.


And then you'll find your happy place.

And then per those, you know, per those videos, that's why I was, I was letting people know that, you know?

I sealed actually two samples during that just to to help.

Actually it was Martin that I sent him to, not that he was having problems like hey, I don't understand you know what do you mean by this?


And I'm like, well let me show you a visual explanation rather than verbal.

And I sealed 2 samples, 1 sample, Let's say on on one of the applications it took more or let's say more applications to seal up.


But a sister sample, same concrete cured the same way, processed in my to my ability the same way took half the applications.

Well, you know, jeez, John, why is that?

I don't know man, 'cause I'm just listening to the concrete.

One concrete told me it needed more and the other told me it didn't.


You know and and that's how you follow what I call the visual markers or the visual cues on how you're applying this material to actually get it sealed up to the point that, as I think there's videos on the ICT where you know, I got vinegar under a bottle for days, does nothing to it 0.


I forget what else I did to it, but oil just since it turned into.

Yeah, we did.

Oil where you just leave it till it essentially it turns into.


Yeah, until it turned to a dried out sludge.


I mean, these are the kind of results people should be getting.


But to achieve those, yeah, don't, don't get, don't get lost in the whole.

Like, well, I did one of this and two of that.

And no, just listen to the concrete.

Follow the concrete, the concrete brick road.

Be a concrete.




Yeah, there you go.


Let it talk to you.

Listen to it.

It'll tell you.

Well, it will it.

I mean, like legit it'll tell you.

And that's what I was trying to show people, man.

If if the what I saw 5 minutes after is still happening, then it's just not sealed.


And in this, I think the only thing that probably concerns people again with this technology compared to Lou speaking like, well, John, I don't want to use too much.

Won't it build up?

Well, it's not building up if it's still absorbing, Yeah, you see, you know, if that makes sense.

So if that's what you see and it's still using the visual marker of that's called the darkening, which shows that it's still absorbing, then no, it's not building up.


Yeah, yeah.

Where is on this?

I think on Kodiak too, right.

I think they on Kodiak as well.

Yeah, I think he posted a few places because I've seen it pop up, but so I've been sealing that sink.

I did that yesterday, sealed the sink Today I came in, I did the Moe's Evo ceramic coating on it and it looks so good.


It's so slick.

Tomorrow I'll do the whatever the Moe's matte spray ceramic spray.

They kind of matted out a little bit.

But anyways, and I got to drive it out to the customer, but I've been working on these concrete frames.

I bought these Mark Maggiore prints and I've been working on these concrete frames.


You know, it's one of these things that I thought in my mind, it's going to be pretty simple process.

I've done it once before.

I made a concrete frame for a a oil painting I had made of me and my wife from our wedding day years ago.

And my memory of it was just pretty straightforward.


It wasn't that difficult, dude.

Maybe it's just me now.

Maybe when I made that before I was like a little bit more fast and loose and I wasn't as precise.

But each one of these frames probably takes me honestly, from start to finish, eight hours per frame to form them, to mix and cast to demould.


And you know, I've tried all different releases and it still takes a lot of work when it's done to to get all the foam removed.

And then all I'm doing with it is a wax and mineral oil.

It's like a a product they make for butcher blocks and cutting boards that's I'm just putting that on because I don't need any sealer.


So just in a wax and mineral a piece wax mineral but it takes you know with all the little details with the embedded French cleat and I'm I'm doing like embedded PVC foam to where I can put the the staples that go in sideways to lock the picture in.

You know when you put it into the frame.


All these little details add up to a ton of time and just a ton of like meticulousness.

Just so meticulous.

So anyways, I'm working on that.

And the other thing I'm working on today is my wife has been on a kick of buying these horrible planters from Walmart or Lowe's or Home Depot.


I don't know where the last ones came from, Walmart, but plastic in their horde, she bought some.

They look like they they they look like Halloween props.

I think she actually originally bought them for Halloween.

And I was like, no, we're not putting those in front of her house.

And so then next day I come home and she has these Gray ones, but they're made of plastic And you can tell they're made from 100 feet away.


You can tell they're plastic.

They don't, they're not full on anybody.


And they look horrible.

And so then she bought a couple more.

They showed up.

They were from Walmart because of Walmart delivery pulled up.

And this one's hollow.

It's black plastic, but it's hollow.

So you can tell it's blow molded.


They injected plastic.

And again, I'm like, oh God.

And she's like, hey, can you go drill some holes in these so I can plant them?

I'm like, all right.

So I go to drill and I felt them and I felt that they were totally hollow on the inside, like there was no ribs or any type of support on the inside.


So then I thought, oh, let me just cut the bottom off these and pour concrete in here, right?

I'll make these in concrete.

So yesterday I came in, I cut the bottoms off and inside it's like this very bumpy texture, the plastic.

But I think it looks awesome.

So today when I cast two more frames, I'm going to mix up extra concrete.


I'm going to pour these two planters concrete into them.

And I think, I mean, who knows?

But I think I'm going to end up with these really nice concrete planters that have this great texture on them.

And you know, I think each one of those planters, she said, cost 20 bucks a piece.


So to build a form would be way more than 20 bucks, you know, and the time involved.

So if it works, you know I'll share it with people and they can go down to Walmart and pick up a couple of these and pour concrete into them and end up with some really nice large scale planters for the front of your house.


Yeah, that'd be cool.

Yeah, I can see you doing that.

Kind of excited about it.

I don't know.

It's it's like a weird found thing that I don't think they really anticipate anybody cutting the bottoms off these and looking inside of them.

And you know the texture I think for a lot of people would be a negative.

But for me, I think the texture is going to be really nice aesthetically, the the bumpiness of it.


So we'll see how it turns out.

It could, It could be totally garbage.

And I can't see all the way down in, so maybe there are like some weird ribs along the top that once I pour it and I break it all apart, it looks horrid.

But you know, I'll find out tomorrow when I de mold it.


So there's that.

Let me see my list here next thing.

So I didn't see this post, but you told me about it.

Fiber dispersion.

Somebody's having an issue on one of the forums with clumping, and you said it's a fiber dispersion issue.

You want to talk about that?

Yeah, Well, I think I know we talked about it before when it comes to fibers, you know, overall Fibers.


But it's pretty there's someone in Australia who was asking questions about fibers related.

He's loading PVA Fifteens into an SCC.

Again people, I implore you under those circumstances if you're going to do self consolidating concrete and use whatever loadings of PDA fifteens, just be aware that the fifteens because of the size thing that are used and there's two different ones.


There's the I forget what's with an S that's all I know S is the one with the think of that as the slip.

So that's got the sizing for better dispersion and and easier but he was probably using the one.

But be aware those need pretty high shear to break the bundles nature of the beast.


So if you are going to put them into self consoling concrete make sure you're putting them.

When I say early, I mean like really before slake beat the crap out of them, let them set, let them set.

And then I mean through your slake.

And then when you break your slake, make sure you do good blending again or you are going to find clumps.



Me ask you, where's John?

Let me ask you this.

Let's say he is mixing in a drum mixer, barrel mixer or let's say he was mixing in a vertical shaft which has sheer but not like a handheld mixer does, right?

Would he be better off to add those PVAS to his mixed water, hit it with a handheld like column mix XO 6 or double blade or whatever for you know a minute or two.


Just really beat the crap out of those fibers in the water.

Then use that water with the the dispersed fibers in his mix.

No, I would say no in under those circumstances, I would say don't use PVA Fifteens.

There's other choices there, like.


But I'm saying if you're going to use.

PVA fifteens.

Would that be a better way than just throwing them in and letting them mix?

Not really, man, because putting them in that early is going to choke the heck out of your mix.

It really is.

It's going to cause dispersion and then they're going to end up agglomerating instead of fully dispersing by doing it that way.


Yeah, now.

So the reality is these ones were, you know, they're made for shear is what actually to comes down to it.

And if you don't have either enough shear or the proper shear, kind of like what I talked about before, this is more of an extreme.


But when I tried early on getting into using cellulose fibers, remember I told you and they they come in a puck and that puck, it's all stamped and so forth and we just don't have enough shear to break those.

So I ended up taking buckets and and then putting a water pump in between and then the the water would circulate between the buckets breaking the pucks down because there was just no way there.


And I mean these were actually made to go into conventional cockrete with lots of aggregate.

And that was on the trucks, yeah, the ready mixed trucks where they're driving, yeah.


And we just don't have that kind of shear.

When I say shear, again, I I don't mean like just by our hand mixer and stuff, because that's part of it, but the other is just time.


So if you actually saw the the there was two.

And there's a few other issues going on here besides just fiber.

But when you saw the bottom of a sink, yeah, you can distinctly see that the fifteens were still in clumps.

They had never actually dispersed.


So #1 concentrate on that constant.

If you're going to use the fifteens, you got to concentrate on your dispersion.

And then the other thing, and this is probably going to upset some people.

Again there, as I learned long ago, PVA fifteens work better fundamentally with the type of mix that you're using.


So I don't know what kind of mix he was using.

He didn't say.

But I will say by looking at the bottom of the sink, there was a ton of air, lots and lots of air.

So the reality is, you know, pay attention to that and if you have to, maybe you mix it in with your sand or something 1st and then everything else which again is going to be difficult with plasticizer and wetting out and et cetera, et cetera.


But those are the things you got to.

I would avoid fifteens in a barrel mixer.

Yeah, I I just don't see that Happy 4 hundreds or even sevens are going to, if you're focused on PVA, are going to be your better choices under those circumstances.


The last thing on my list, John, is color.

And there's a few different topics on color.

One is, I think one of the hot trends this year is bold color you've noticed.

It, yeah, they're coming back on it's.

Yeah, you've noticed it in the concrete industry, but I've noticed it with different designers I follow that are talking about the trend going forward is going to be bold colors.


So, you know, as concrete makers, artisans, businesses, you know, maybe maybe make a few things in a bold color, put it out there on social media and see if you get a response, because that seems to be the direction that designers are going right now.

Well, you know, Well, you know what makes sense?


I just dawned on me while we're talking.

So what was that Hero's quest two years ago that we did with the the, you know, the Ram Crete bases and then the the bold yellow inside the bases?

Yeah, that was the first one we did, yeah.


Well, and it just dawned on me, duh.

I didn't even think about that.

So Joe Bates is really in the middle of all these trees.

He's always on the cusp because of the the designers and the architects that he's that he's working with and that's why he's gotten into a lot of the bold colors.



So we should have seen this coming, man.

We should, to be honest with you via Joe.

It's all cyclical.

I mean, if neutrals are in for a few years, then bold's going to come after that, it just goes back and forth.

You know, bell bottoms are back with jeans, things like that.

Like it's all just cyclical.


It's just they rediscover the trends from 5/10/15 years ago.

So yeah, Bold, Bold.

Will be back for a while.


So start looking at some, anybody who's not doing it yet, start looking at some of those bold colors.

But I guess this is where you're going.


But be aware when you start getting into these bold colors, as we're calling them, most of these colors are, you know, they're heavy, surfactant loaded type of materials are often referred to as super pigments, and loading super pigments into your mixes is very different or should be treated differently than regular oxide pigments.


Is that where you're going with it?

Did I?

Just do a spoiler alert.

No, no, no spoiler.

But definitely elaborate on that, John.

OK, well, I'll elaborate from a different point of view I gotta.

No, no, no, no, no.

Not a different point of view.

What should people do?

Tell me, John.


Just get to the meat.

It's like those damn blog posts, any of these recipes you want to make banana pancakes.

And you got to read 5 paragraphs about how the grandma made banana pancakes when you were a baby.


Yeah, exactly.

And when I was a little girl in Guatemala, my grandma made banana pancake.


Shut up and give me the recipe.

So John, tell me what to do with the Super pigments.

I don't need a story, just tell me what to do differently.

What do I do with the Super pigments?

Load them later in your mixed cycle, plain and simple.

So when any time you're dealing with these bold colors or super pigments, which includes still even your heavy titanium loads or carbon black loads, which often are not thought about as super pigments but they are is you'll have better results from mixed rheology, plasticizer efficiency, water efficiency, and workability the whole 9 yards.


If instead of putting up front like we normally would, you know you put them later in your mix cycle, typically I'd say Priests lake, right?

So mix them in Priests Lake after everything's fully dispersed, let them sit through the slake cycle and then finish the total blending post slate and you will see a dramatic difference in the workability plasticizer load.


Or even like some people have said like you know, per doing that which would normally choke their mix out, they actually ended up needing to cut their TBP back because again, the surfactant technology in the Super figments are going to do that.


So be aware.


And it probably helps reduce untrained air too because a lot of these pigments and whip up a lot of air into the because of surfactants whip up a lot of air into the mix.

So due to later we'll reduce the the amount of untrained air.

Big, tough.

And I think we talked about that.


It was.

It's hilarious.

I got to, I mean, I still think about this way back when and I was trying to do a what I thought was going to be a really pretty fire engine red.

And at the time I was using a combination of a powder super red and that liquid red.


It was like.


Five or something.

That's the number.

That was the number.


Yeah, I got nightmares of that stuff.

And I remember, you know, again, right, you mixed it all.

I mean, you calculated the mix.

Again, for this conversation, I needed one cubic foot, yes.


And 1 cubic foot should have really only left me with like a handful left of mix.

And I first of all, the mess, I don't even want to get into that, but it literally looked like it was in a slaughterhouse. 2.

We had that mold filled and I was still looking like, what did we do wrong?


And I instantly thought, I must have just calculated wrong.

Man, look at I got like, I'm going to say a good third maybe even moving to half the materials leftover.

And I'm like, wow, I totally messed this up.

And I went and I checked everything I could.


I'm like, no, man, you calculated it right?

Wow, I'm just an idiot.

The next when we pulled that, Oh my God it was so honeycomb foam Crete.

It was crazy.

And that was my first introduction into surfactant technologies related to pigment technologies.


It was crazy how much it inflated that mix.

It was nuts.

Dude, that's super red.

That was back.

Murray Clark back in the day. the Super, the the liquid red.

The DVD 05.

And then and then Sean Hayes bought it.

But I did.


I did.

There's been a few projects I've done that I didn't want to do, but you do and it's it's like leave the money on the night stand.

Don't kiss me on the mouth.

You know, this is transactional.

That's all it is, transactional.

And so it was one of those.


It was 2 red sinks for some restaurant or something.

And they were like fire engine lipstick, super bright red, just crazy red, Ferrari red.

And I had to do a high loading of the liquid.

And the problem with that too is weighing it out.

It's very imprecise.


You're trying to weigh the liquid and it's messy.

It's getting on everything.

But what I can tell people if you never used it is you will literally use 2 ounces of liquid red.

Yeah, not that much.

And it it's magnetic.


It gets on everything.

It's like you used 50 gallons of it when you're done mixing and everything's done.

It's on the walls, it's on the floor, it's on the ceiling, it's in your car, it's on, you know, it's on everything.

It gets on everything.

And I've used it probably two or three times between that and like the blue and the green that he used to sell and every one of them, it was like that.


It was just it just multiplies and it's unreal how it gets everywhere.

As clean as you try to be.

It gets on everything.

I don't know how it does it.

They all do.

The magenta does the same thing.

Remember that Magenta I.

Don't think I use magenta.



Oh, it's a pretty color, man.

It's a suit.

It's an incredibly pretty color, but the same.

I mean, from the moment, it doesn't matter that and it's a powder.

The moment you open the can, Oh my goodness.

It's just it's so light and fluffy too.


It's in the air.

It's on everything You anything you use to scoop, anything you use to measure, anything that goes in the mixer.

Oh man.

Dude, I'm having, I'm having a memory.

So this was, I don't know, how many years ago now, How many years would it be 10 years ago?


Maybe 12 years ago, Probably at least 12.

I went out to see Sean Hayes in Covington, GA, Blue Concrete, and he's giving me a tour of of their building.

You've been there many times.

It used to be an old, like baseball glove factory.

I want to say, is what he said like a Spalding baseball glove factory back in the day.


But anyways, he's giving me the tour, show me around and he opens a door.

He opens a door and there's this guy.

First of all, the room is just black.

Like the whole room is black.


And there's.

Living room.

Well, no, This is like a bagging room.


But there's a guy sitting there and he's wearing a Tyvek suit, and he's got like, goggles on and and gloves.

But you can tell it was a white Tyvek suit, but now it's just covered in in black pigment.

And he turns and looks and like, the lights are flickering in there.

They're like fluorescent lights.


It's like out of a horror movie, right?

And it's just this room and it's just this black fog in there of this pigment.

And the guy turns and looks at us and Sean just goes, Yep, it's a shit job and he shuts the door.

This poor guy.


His job is just a sit there and bag, carbon black pigment in this room.

He was just sitting there on a little stool holding the bag, fills it up, closes the bag.

But it was magnetic.

I mean literally it's attracted to everything and it sticks to it.

But just Sean when he just said, Yep, it's a shit job and he just shut the door and I died.


No, that I remember that area the that was had the bagger and the smaller pigment blenders and all that.

Yeah, that room was man, you could go in there, especially when they're doing Blues and people come walking out and they're like Smurfs, just covered from.


Head to toe, yeah.

And it gets into everything.

I mean, it's like, how it got like, how does it get under your fingernails?

I mean, it just goes into everything, yeah.

They used to have, Speaking of of that facility, they used to have this Stalag stalagmite that was growing off the floor where they poured the excess concrete.


When they're doing colour samples, like when they were doing custom colours, they'd blend it up, look at it and then dump it out And you remember that thing.

Yeah, it's like this big poopsicle, but it's all different colours growing up off the floor and way back in the day, this was 1517 years ago.


There was a guy that used to do a class called Junk to Gems where he would go to a junkyard or a thrift store and find like a cake pan and pour concrete into it and try to make it into a clock or, I don't know, whatever, you know.

And I remember you like you like dressed up the poopsicle with like a shirt and gloves.


You're like, look, Jack the Jones took a picture, posted it.

I think he got in trouble from Sean.

He made to take it down.

But yeah, good stuff.

Good stuff.

It is funny.

Come on.

Good humor.

Yeah, Good humor.


And that thing was huge, though.

It was huge.

That's the thing.



It just got bigger every year. 6 foot tall.

Yeah, as they kept putting the different things on there.

Yeah, yeah, he's probably still there.

I mean, he never stopped doing it.

They're still doing it, so.

I thought it was like crap to creations or something.

Like that it was something.


Was it junk to gems?

I think it was junk to gems, but yeah, it was, it was an interesting concept.

You know, I mean, I'm kind of doing that with the Walmart planters in a way.

I'm taking a found object and pouring concrete into it.

But I think the whole idea with that class was let me show you how to go to the a thrift store and find something and then upcycle that and turn a profit, right.


And you know, there's these HGTV shows where they do that kind of stuff.

They go to flea like flea market pickers or flea markets.

On flea, market finds, they go to flea markets, they buy something, they paint it, and then they sell it to, you know, somebody off Facebook.

And whoever makes the most profit wins the show.


I think this person kind of had the same idea of like, let me show you how to do that.

You know, the truth of the matter, that's that's probably pretty rare.

It's probably pretty rare You're going to find some item at a thrift store or a junkyard that you're going to pour concrete into and make something that's more valuable that you're going to turn a profit on.

Let's say it's impossible.


I'm just saying it's exceedingly rare to do that.

So anyways.

Yeah, it's interesting to see where people's heads at, you know, I mean, even for us, we keep talking about like, you know, I'm on a path Per actually, right.


You got a text from somebody just reminds me of this path.

You know, I get up in the morning.

What did he do?

He went, he went to the.


I'll read it.


Read it.

And then he went surfing.

Hold on, John, let me read it.

I'm sorry.

OK, here's what he said my day. 5:00 AM coffee.


Walk a block down the road and peek at the ocean. 6:00 AM drive a half mile to the spot.

Surf until 945 minute.

Drive up the coast of the shop.

Clean forms.

Grab 6 bags, batch out TBP pigment fibers.

Get mixer ready More coffee.

Pick up kiddo from school.


Have lunch.

Get back to the shop around 2.

Pour 300 lbs and make her mix down a little half inch slot.

Have a beverage.

Clean up.

Put the concrete to bed.

I'm currently turning out more product than I ever have.

The lazy way.


Stay lazy, my friends.


I'll see you soon.

This is one of the guys that's coming to Hero's Quest.

But yeah, I mean, that's that's a great text to get.

And it kind of reminds us that we're doing things the right way and that the message is getting out there that you can work smarter, not harder.

You can.

You can use better materials, make better products and spend less time doing it, which is better for business all the way around.


And it's better for work, life balance, as this person's doing.

They're surfing, they're spending time with their kid.

They're not spending countless hours in the shop doing slurry water polishing, you know, cleaning tools.

I can't tell you for me every single time I go to clean up now, when I'm done.


The difference versus the polymer mixes I used for over a decade back In those days I would spend so much time cleaning because the glue, which is polymer, would bond to anything.


It bonded to the buckets, it bonded to the mixer, bonded to the floor scraper, bonded to everything.

And it was such a pain in the butt.

Like, I remember if Mix dropped on the floor and I didn't hit it with the floor scraper that night, you know, the next day it's glued to the floor, you know, So then you have to come and you have to like beat on it with the the scraper.


But if you don't have polymer, it doesn't do that, you know, So if Mix falls on the floor and I miss it, next day I come in, hit, hit it with a scraper, It pops off because it doesn't have the glue, it's not gluing to whatever it touches.

And it's just there's so many benefits involved with getting away from the way things were done 50 years ago.


When you get away from those things that we felt were the right way and at some point in time it was the right way.

But when you get away from those things and you find a better way, your life gets easier, the process gets easier, you have more time, you're more profitable and your clients ultimately are happier because they're getting a better product.


So anyways, that's what that text said to me and and it's it's great.

Yeah, 100%.

And you know, I have to tell you, I'd still really enjoy, especially in the morning when I'm having my coffee.

I like watching the, you know some people do the daily stories and stuff like that.


And it's just so interesting to me to see you know how different paths are And and watching some people and their stories who you you could tell they're still defining their or their feeling of defining their success is like look how busy I am.

You know, look how early I got here and, oh, it's midnight.


Look, and I'm so busy.

I don't get, I'm not leaving here till, you know, 12:00.

And I'm just thinking like, wow, yeah, I'm just on a very different path than that anymore, you know, I've spent those days.

I've been on that cycle.

And yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm very happy with where I'm at now.



There was a time when I started my company.

I had a dog, a Belgian Malinois.

Her name was Indy, and I had a dog, and that was it.

And me and Indy, you know, I'd have girlfriends here and there and whatever, but I didn't have goldfish at the house.


I didn't have house plants or my apartment and I would go to work and I would just work and I would work and I'd work and I'd work.

Sometimes I just take a nap at the shop and just wake up and keep working, you know, And left my own devices, I would, I would show up around 11 or noon and I'd work till two or three, four in the morning if I was left my own devices.


But you know, it's a different season of life now.

I have three kids and I have different priorities.

Back then my priority was let me, let me grind as hard as I can and you know make as many things as I can push the envelope.

But also I was, I was using the materials that were available at that time and based on those materials that type of time commitment was necessary.


It was just part of the process.

There wasn't anything else, you know, and so it was just part of it.

But I'm in a different season of life.

And where did this different season of materials which evolved from what it once was and like this person, a lot of people, luckily, you know, he's been doing concrete for a while, but I don't think he's been doing it for 20 years.


So, you know, I think he spent a couple years doing it the old way with liquid polymers or powdered polymers and struggling and he's made the switch.

And so he's able to to benefit from these advancements and have a much, much better work life and a much more Better Business because of it.


So all right, John, I got to go get ICE and I got to get to mixing some concrete here.

Yeah, yeah.

You can talk about the Heroes Quest or we already started with Heroes Quest.

One week away, man.

Yeah, one week away next week.


So if you want to come come.


Like I said, we're we're hoping we get 1000 people.

I'm shooting for 1000.

You think I'm kidding, bro?


I'm shooting for 1000.

I don't know about that, Yeah.

But this is your chance.

I I guarantee you the day after Hero's class, somebody will send me an e-mail.


Hey man, I'm interested in Ramcrete.

When's your next workshop?

I guarantee it's it's gonna happen.

So this is it. 2024.

We have three other workshops scheduled after this.

Like I said, we might do one or two others.


I'm looking at doing a couple others, but they're not Ramcrete and I'm not gonna do Ramcrete.

So if you're interested in Ramcrete, come to this class and this class is an advanced mold making class.


That's really what it's focused on as well with with Joe.

So there's a lot of people that are are interested in upping their mold making game whether that's epoxy or rubber and or fiberglass.

So this is going to be a phenomenal workshop to gain a lot of knowledge to bring more tools to the toolbox.


So, an introduction to a lot of Polytech materials.

You know, I saw, I saw it popped up on my feed yesterday.

But it said life is short, Buy the tickets, right.

Like it apply to a lot of things.

It could apply to a concert or whatever, but it applies to this as well.

Life is short.

Buy the tickets.


You think you're going to be here next year.

You think you're going to be here in five years?

Maybe you will, maybe you won't.

Nothing's guaranteed.

If you want to take the class, then do it.

Get online, buy the tickets.

We'll see you next week.

Yeah, next week.

Yep, I'm excited.

All right, buddy, I'm going to get some ice.


All right, my friend.

Yep, I'm off to get busy with myself.

Adios, amigo, adios.


#ConcreteCrafts #SuperPigments #PVAfiber #CraftingSuccess #IntegrityInArt #HeroesQuestWorkshop #NapaEvents #ArtisanPodcast #CraftWorkshops #ConcretePodcast